Wednesday, 13 January 2016

The Most Boring Blog Ever?

June 26th 2012

The whole day was spent on uploading photographs and descriptions of ponies to sell.  I knew it had to be done, but that didn't make it any less upsetting.

I had a very brisk walk through Lammas Park and was back home in 25 minutes.  I didn't like a group of loud youths gathered around a bench there so left the park and walked along the road outside instead, re-entering the park at a gate further along.  Some people walking past me looked at me very strangely.  I guess I must have looked scared.

Ann-Marie the vile college adviser emailed me with "Desiree Adler's Action Plan".  Yes, Adler.  She couldn't even spell my name correctly.  Well, either way, I guess I really was stuck with business now.  She even sent me the phone number for the Questor's Theatre and wished me very insincere luck with my theatre hobby.  Nice.

David went for a job interview, got tired out by the journey, came back and fell asleep on the shower room floor.  If an interview made him that tired, how would he cope with going to work every day?

He was hiring another car for a week starting the following day.  Mum had tried to discourage him, saying that "it would all be eBay wrapping and posting this week in reality".  Well, I could only speak for myself but, as it stood, I was only selling six items.  Now David thought I was rich and kept asking how much we'd sold!

June 27th 2012

Mum and I walked around the block to the South Ealing charity shops.  Some nasty Indian carers in a mini-bus for disabled people laughed very pointedly at her for hobbling along the road.  Nice people.  I wonder if they laughed at the people they cared for in the same way?

Only MAPF was open anyway and there was nothing of interest inside.  Well, unless you wanted a 2009 MLP Annual for £1.  I didn't, so I left it there.  Mum stopped and looked in the window of the picture framing shop for some reason and the shop owner looked at me as if wondering why I wasn't going inside to buy something.

David went for another job interview in central London and collected the hire car on his way home.  We went to Grottsville to collect the items I'd sold on eBay and stopped at Alperton McDonalds for fries on the way.  Grottsville was full of drunks peeing in the gutters and dealing drugs on the street corners, and the smell of decay at the house itself was getting worse and worse.  Surely David would have to do something about emptying it soon?

I was amazed to see a tin of G2 MLP fruit jellies sell for £34 on eBay.  I really regretted selling my own for a fiver, especially as mine had been a brand new tin of jellies and this was just an empty one!

Still nobody discussed college courses.  Mum was just upset not to be able to apply for the Sun newspaper break.

June 28th 2012

I was too disturbed to sleep until 3am again so, despite not being awoken until 9am, I was left living on just six hours sleep.  I wrapped a few eBay parcels, then David came downstairs and my parents began to argue.  So I went back to bed to lie down and hide from their shouting voices.

It was David's turn to be in a bad mood.  He didn't want to help with posting parcels that weren't his, or go to Grottsville to collect Mum's Bosson heads or get cottage pie (why didn't we have an oven at Woodberry?  Then he wouldn't have to bother!), and said it was my fault that I hadn't picked up a college book before I went for the advice meeting so it was business studies or nothing.

So we didn't get anything constructive done.  I was supposed to go to Brentford Post Office with David but he was so bad tempered that he started screaming at me when I dared to stop and pick up a drink on the way out of the door, so I yelled back that I "f***ing hated him" (!) and stayed at home.  He blamed Mum for mentioning insuring one of her parcels...didn't he realise it was he himself who had made me retaliate?!

I ended up going for another solitary walk in Lammas Park and feeling lonely watching all the other people with their friends and dogs.  It was too hot to walk very far anyway.  I did take this very exciting photograph of a thrush though!

David went for another job interview and came home after 8pm.  I hope he was in a better mood with the interviewers than he was with us!  Then we ended the day with a trip to McDonalds for yet more fries.

June 29th 2012

The new bathroom curtains were fitted.  Mum started suffering palpitations as she got in a worse and worse state about it, then made matters worse by yelling at me and running into the garden to randomly fit a "No junk mail" sign on the door when somebody put a flyer through!  Thankfully she liked them when she actually looked at them though so the curtains were allowed to stay without being spray painted or otherwise vandalised!  I wasn't allowed to close them though as she "had to keep them nice until she could find some matching tiebacks".  In the meantime, she tied toilet paper around them!

Another argument ensued after that.  David had thought we'd "go away for the weekend".  What?  At lunchtime?  With no bags packed and nothing prepared?  He knew he was safe in suggesting that now, didn't he?  He wouldn't help me to book any driving lessons as I should just go and try driving the hire car around a supermarket car park late at night.  Oh, and I couldn't enrol at college now because I'd "torn the form up, our printer wouldn't print double sided forms and I'd got more advice now"...  Um, surely you can just print one side of the form at a time?  And where exactly did he think I'd got more advice?

David and I went to Grottsville.  He spent all of his time in the bathroom while I attempted to clear up Emma's old bedroom and weighed more eBay sales stuff.  It turned out not to be free listing weekend anyway, but it was still best to get my stuff prepared.  Mum wouldn't even let me photograph hers until the last minute, so there was never time for mine on the day.

The house was in a terrible way.  It smelt of decay and rotten eggs and the back room looked as though it as about to fall off of the rest of the house!

We went to Osterley Tesco on the way back.  My hands were black with dirt from Grottsville (there was no running water there any more either) and my fingernails started snapping off like they always did after a cleaning up session at Grottsville.  What was in the dust over there?  No wonder it made me so ill!

We went to Brentford McDonalds for yet more fries later on.  Yes, my days were very repetitive.

June 30th 2012

I overslept and didn't get up until 10am.  Mum was cross with me for wasting the time while we had the hire car.  Well, she could have always woken me up...and I didn't exactly see that her and David were ready to do anything anyway!

The bronies were back with a vengeance sending nasty messages to people.  I read some of their hate mail over breakfast.  Mum was cross with me for this too...even though I jumped straight up after I'd finished eating to help her wrap her eBay parcels.

We went to B&Q to look at draught excluders (Mum hated them) and the cheap shop in Greenford for brown paper and crates.  There was a Jolly Roger Mini Train coin operated ride in Greenford now alongside the RG Mitchell Rocky and Jerry, but I didn't get a chance to take a photo.

We were supposed to be going to Grottsville for a vegetarian cottage pie, but Mum got in a bad mood about her leg and the dirty flat roof on the extension and claimed to be "too tired to move".  She was horrible to me about college and how I'd "wasted my chance" by ripping up the form.  But never mind, she "didn't really want me to do it anyway because she wanted me free for her holidays".  "Hopefully it was too late to get another form now at the end of June".

I waited hours to find out what she wanted for dinner.  At 8pm, she finally announced that she didn't want anything and went to sleep, leaving me with just ravioli and bread as it was too late to bother getting anything else!

And so ends another month of my sad, wasted past.  God, this stuff is depressing...

Best wishes,
Desirée  xxx

Friday, 8 January 2016

Curtains, Teeth and Cheerful Doctors

June 21st 2012

David and I walked to the curtain shop with the horse fabric which had been chosen for the bathroom.  It was going to cost £120 to get the curtains made, and Mum had decided she hated the fabric anyway as it was "too green".

David was being horrible to me, nagging and nagging that I should have found myself a school and gone there on the bus when I was 12.  Uh...I was so sheltered that I didn't even know that I was the right age to go to secondary school, let alone where to find a school.

We sent off for my provisional driving license.  Well, at least that was something positive.  The rest of the day went on stressing about college again.  I couldn't stand the idea of having no free time to even do so much as a bit of eBay selling, especially when I didn't even have any interest in the course in question.  How on Earth would I get through it, knowing all the time that I was getting too old to follow my own dreams?

June 22nd 2012

Yet another appointment at Sparkle Dental Boutique.  The incompetent orthodontist began quizzing me about my education again so I told her I was going to do a college course to shut her up.  Then she went on and on about college so much that she forgot to close the front gates.  My teeth weren't in too much pain afterwards (well, of course they weren't - they weren't even properly secured!) but my lip was torn to bits on the sharp open gates.

She announced that she had to correct the lower front teeth and the bite on the left hand side again.  When would it end?

David painted over the latest lot of swear words that Mum had written on the wall.  He made a mess of it and blamed her.  She said that the wall was greasy before she even touched it.  "I'll give ya a paintbrush if ya like!" David retorted.  That put an end to the argument!

I was in a terrible state about college.  I just didn't want to go and waste four or five years of my life and God knows how much money on something that wasn't leading anywhere.  Mum had drained every dream out of me though.  I just felt dead and couldn't stop crying.

I was up until 4am tossing and turning with the stress of it all.  It didn't help that somebody was having a loud party on the other side of the railway and I kept hearing bursts of music and loud drunken voices shouting at each other every time I did finally drift off to sleep!

June 23rd 2012

A man came to look at the walls and give us an estimate for putting up some shelves etc.  I didn't like him.  He couldn't see anything wrong with Sickton's work and was very bossy, telling us what he wanted to do with our house.

David and I went back to the picture framing shop to collect the framed certificate.  David managed to embarrass us again.  He stuck himself in the window with his bottom in the air while he scrutinised the framed picture and blocked me from getting into the little shop, stood in the way of the shop assistant and finally stepped back into a printer, almost breaking it in the process!

We got some Magnum ice lollies in the Co-Op on our way back.  I wished they did full packets of milk chocolate ones in the mini size there.  As it was, I ended up sitting on the floor to eat mine anyway as David hogged the table and both chairs to look at the computer!

I ripped up my college application form.  Yes, I knew I'd have to go through with it and tearing up an application form wasn't going to make any difference (I could always get another), but gosh, it made me feel better.  I didn't want to study business, I actually wished Mum had never raised Access Courses now.  Why didn't I just stand up for myself and find out what I needed to do to study musical theatre?  Oh, because I still thought I'd go and do a course in Canada when the braces came off...which would be "soon".  Right, Sparkle Dental Boutique?

Speaking of braces, my back teeth were killing me.  David was rudely whispering to Mum behind the wall that I should have checked the gates before I left the orthodontist.  (As if I really couldn't hear him!)  Well, I was rather preoccupied with her bullying me about college.  And anyway, shouldn't a qualified orthodontist remember something as simple as closing the gates on each bracket?

I was still sorting through ponies and trying desperately to find ones that I didn't mind selling too much.  I found a carpet beetle in one of the boxes.  Oh no.  I hoped that didn't mean that they were going to take over at Woodberry like they had at Grottsville.

June 24th 2012

David didn't come to Woodberry all day.  He rang up to say that he was "coming in a minute".  Mum snapped at him that there "wasn't much point now".  "Okay, I won't!" David said.  Any excuse to stay with his clutter in Grottsville for an extra day!

Mum and I walked around the block.  She was very slow  but wasn't as tired when we got back so her fitness levels must be improving.

I was still stressing about my education and wishing I'd pushed that horrible college adviser for more information on my options.  I just didn't want my parents to rule over my life decisions again.  If I had to do something "sensible" rather than the subject I really wanted to do, at least let it be something bearable rather than rotten old business studies!

One of my orthodontic elastics broke during dinner and I couldn't find it.  I ended up having to spit out and throw away a mouth full of food so as not to swallow it.  Mum made some unnecessary joke about how I "couldn't go for a candlelit dinner"...totally unkind when I was so desperate to get the braces removed, I think.

Peter the squirrel tried to get through my bedroom window.  He was very sweet, but I didn't want him inside the house!

June 25th 2012

I overslept (I was tossing and turning until 4am again though, so it wasn't really surprising) and then walked to South Ealing Sainsburys for bread and milk before breakfast.  I ran into a horrible dustman on my way there who wolf whistled at me.  God, I hated these common men.

I walked to the doctor with Mum later that day.  They were 40 minutes late seeing her and it was awful sitting in the waiting room, realising that we could hear every word that was said between the doctors and their patients!  There was no privacy to be had at that surgery!

When she finally did get seen, she was told that her knee scan results were not back yet anyway.  As for her heart, she had a ST sinus rhythm.  It wasn't serious, but it was good to get it checked out. Mum asked if she was likely to have a heart attack on the way home one day and this doctor launched into the same cheerful stuff as the last one.  "Well, you never know.  We all have to die sometime!"

A woman came from the curtain shop to measure the windows.  I felt humiliated by the dirt and mess.

And so went another five days of my early 20s.  Gosh, this is so sad to read through.  What a waste.

Best wishes,
Desirée  xxx

The Theatrical Politician and the Friendly Squirrel

June 16th 2012

I woke up at 7.45am but didn't like to show my face downstairs until I was called (9am) so quietly got dressed and then went back to bed!  What a sad way to live.

When I did get up, I found that I had a terrible headache and toothache (most likely caused by the braces), but a painkiller took the worst of it off.

I'd ordered two dresses for myself (a real novelty as I never normally treated myself to any nice clothes) and was excited about them arriving which was probably the only reason I even woke up that "early".  They didn't arrive anyway, much to my disappointment.

My day was spent on the exciting task of wrapping eBay parcels again.  It was another free listing weekend too so the eBay job never really ended.  Then again, if I didn't have that little bit of income, I guess I wouldn't have been able to treat myself to nice things like dresses.

I walked with David to the bus stop when he went off to Grottsville, then walked back around the block on my own.  Not a nice experience.  I ran into a nasty drunk man around the corner from us who shouted at I RAN in the opposite direction all the way down a long road until I reached the main road.  Then I ran into two nasty youths peeing in the bushes at the other end of our road!  It was very windy and raining hard which didn't make the atmosphere any better.  I was terrified and Mum used all of this as ammunition as to why I shouldn't go out on my own, of course.

In my idle-minded, stressed to death state, I decided to do my old trick and write some new lyrics to a favourite song in the evening.  Mum seemed determined that I should study business at college and become an accountant, giving up my acting dreams in the process.  May I present "I Wanna Be a Voice Actress", to the tune of this little ditty from The Producers...

"Unhappy, unhappy, very unhappy
Unhappy, unhappy
Very, very, very, very, very, very, very unhappy!
Unhappy, unhappy
Very, very, very, very, very, very, very unhappy...

I spend my life accounting,
With figures and such.
To what is my life amounting?
It figures, not much.

I have a secret desire
Hiding deep in my soul.
It sets my heart afire
To see me in this role.

I wanna be a voice actress,
In Vancouver with the best.
I wanna be a voice actress,
The voice that stands out from the rest.

I wanna be a voice actress
Work at Koko Studios
I wanna be a voice actress
Living in one of those Yaletown condos.

I wanna be a voice actress.
It would make all my dreams come true,
If just one time a casting director,
Would say, "You, you, you!"  "Me?"  "Yes, YOU!"

I wanna be a voice actress,
Dub in every anime.
I wanna be a voice actress
And join the walla in prelay.

(*Gibberish spoken during crowd scenes*)

She wants to be a voice actress,
Be harassed by rabid fans.
She wants to be a voice actress,
She'll by groceries when she can!

She wants to be a voice actress,
Make strange noises just like these (*insert sound effects here*)
She wants to be a voice actress,
With an audience she can't please!

(*Moaning anime fans on how they'd rather hear Tara Strong or another name in their favourite show than the pure TALENT of Desirée Skylark! :P )

I wanna be... (She wants to be!)
I wanna be... (She wants to be!)
I wanna be the greatest, grandest
And most fabulous voice actress in the world!
(With incorrect credits on IMDB)
I've just got to be a voice actress,
With a rumour-filled Wiki!
(They say her income's crazy!)

I wanna be a voice actress
Show the world just what I've got
I'm be a robot or a dog,
A child or pony,
But in my heart I'll be one thing only!

I wanna be a voice actress...
'Cause it's everything I'm not.

Unhappy, unhappy
I wanna be a voice actress...
Very, very unhappy, unhappy
Wait a minute, wait a minute!  Hold everything, hold everything!

My friends were right;
There is a lot more to me than there is to...well, me.
Stop the world! I wanna get on!

I'm gonna be a voice actress!
(She's gonna be a voice actress!)
Look out Vancouver 'cause here I come!"

Yes, it was sheer nonsense and childish fun, but it certainly helped to calm me down.  If only I'd actually taken action and done something towards my dreams instead of writing silly songs about them.

June 17th 2012

Mum and I walked to the Co-Op and Sainsburys to buy bread, Magnum ice lollies and sanitary towels.  And so the mundane life continued!

Mum walked a lot better than she had been doing but got very tired.  She then accused me of "making her worse by making her walk around the block".  She fell asleep for a couple of hours that evening.  I accidentally woke her up when I went upstairs to the bathroom and she said that I "really was a b*tch who was out to finish her off"!

She was terribly unhappy in herself and determined to make everyone else suffer.  She kept picking fights and standing in the way of my dreams, making up obstacles and reasons why I shouldn't follow them.  If I tried to defend myself, she'd tell me off for "starting on again".  Uh...but YOU were the one who "started on", I was just retaliating to your hurtful remarks!

I listed a load of stuff for her on eBay.  All of my stuff was in Grottsville, of course, so I just ended up listing old stuff and a few new bits of cheap rubbish that I did have to hand.

David spent the whole day at Grottsville and didn't even bother to keep in touch.  Maybe that was another cause of Mum's bad temper but I could do without it, especially as I was feeling quite tired and ill myself.  I wished I had somewhere to go like he did!

June 18th 2012

I woke up at 5am (just two hours after finally getting to sleep), eagerly awaiting my dresses.  When I saw the time, I put my pyjamas on again and went back to bed!

The next thing I knew Mum was yelling at me to see if I was awake and I had a vague recollection of her calling me earlier and me telling her to shut up!  Mind you, she deserved it.  She made me cry all through breakfast again, just because I dared to raise my musical theatre dream again.  I "should throw my computer away as it put me in a bad mood and gave me silly ideas when I should be concentrating on getting a sensible degree".  Looking back, I'm so mad at myself.  Why didn't I just do what I wanted to do and ignore her comments?!

My two dresses arrived which cheered me up a little, although her nastiness even put a damper on that.  They looked so pretty though, even in their little tissue paper packets.

I was scared of my college meeting the following day.  I had no idea what to say and didn't want the finality of being stuck on a course I had no interest in taking for four or five years.

My self confidence had plummeted again too.  I felt very fat and had no idea how to lose weight.  I had a very short walk around the block with David but that wasn't going to help me to shift the pounds.  A combination of those terrifying drunks of a couple of days previously and Mum's constant ranting about how I couldn't cope when I went out on my own had made me too nervous to try going to the gym again though.

I'd listed a TY Beanie Baby Seamore the Seal with 2nd generation hangtag on eBay the previous day and it was attracting a lot of attention.  Somebody asked if I would sell it to them directly for £35.  Mum made me take the auction down as it "was obviously worth a lot more than that"...but I couldn't find anything about Seamore online at all.

June 19th 2012

The day of the dreaded college interview.  David walked with me through Walpole Park but was absolutely no use to me.  Neither he nor Mum had spoken to me about it beforehand...well, apart from Mum trying to guilt me into taking business studies and work towards becoming an accountant or a lawyer!  And when we got there, David's phone kept ringing - first an employment agency, then Laura Ashley about the leaking paint can.  So nothing got discussed before I was ushered into a tiny little room with a horrible woman named Anne-Marie.  An intern sat in with her taking notes, and even she had more idea about the college courses than the supposed adviser who was looking at a copy of their 2010 leaflet!  (Not that it would have made much difference - I'd briefly looked through the 2012 leaflet in the foyer and it was full of inaccuracies!)

She did confirm that an Access Course would be free for me as I had taken no former qualifications and was under 24.  I may also be able to apply for funding towards travel expenses as the course took place at the Hammersmith campus, and not at Ealing at all.

I raised the theatre dream and the cow burst our LAUGHING.  Really laughing, rocking backward and forwards in her chair... "What?  You're serious!  You want to do that professionally?!"  She then started wheezing again.  "Go to the Questor's Theatre, honey.  I think they do amateur dramatics!  We're here to talk about your education!"  But...Ealing College do have a musical theatre course!  Maybe I was already too old for it.  I don't know.  But her rudeness put me off of that college for life, even if I'd had any interest in their stupid courses.  The intern was actually very polite to me and tried to suggest things that could lead to a career in theatre, but Anne-Marie shut her up and opened a web page about their nursing Access Course.

"THIS is what we suggest for people in your situation!" she stated.  I'd lost my nerve by this point.  "Um...well, I was actually thinking about the business Access Course..." I stammered.  "Ugh, business studies!" Anne-Marie spat.  "That's what they all do now.  It seems like you already know what you want then, so why are you here?"  I kid you not.  That was what my friendly adviser said to me.  I'm pleased to say she apparently lost her job shortly afterwards.  Maybe she should have re-trained as a nurse... I hope she'd show some more compassion in that job!

By the time I got home, Mum had sent this little gem to her e-friends and my sister.

"Well she is keeping very quiet - and doesnt want me to tell anyone anything yet while she 'thinks about it'

So I havent told you anything, okay?!

Apparently the college gave her some kind of written test in English and Maths, which she passed with flying colours (top marks to me for home educating her so well!)

They said she is well over the required standard for GCSE's at A grade (I could have told THEM that)

They have offered her a place on a one year access course starting in September.  It would be full time, and it would bypass the need for 'A' levels.

the good news is that the course would be FREE because she is under 23.   The bad news is that it would be at Hammersmith College which would require a daily tube journey and she wouldnt get any help with the train fares.   She also couldnt claim any kind of benefits as it would be a full time course, meaning she wouldnt be 'available for work'

So SOMEONE would have to keep her........and pay her train fares.

 Hmmm.....David will not like that idea one bit, will he.  (He wants her to get a JOB)

So she is dreading telling David - and dreading telling Shane aswell, as HE is obviously hoping there will NOT be anything  available to keep her in this country.........

If she were to do this course though - and pass - she would be qualified to go to full time university next September for three years, (studying either maths - business studies - politics or law.)

Is she happy?  No she is not because she is scared of telling David and Shane.    She is moaning that this should all have been done years ago and she would have already graduated by now.

She is right - but you cant turn clocks back can you, you have to take it from where you are now

I have to give her time to think about it - I must not push her or knowing her, she will jump the other way

Please dont mention this to her, lets just hope she decides to go for it   xxx

Oh yes, because she's the caring mother.  Not a word about how I didn't want to waste my life on something that didn't interest me while I grew too old to do musical theatre.  Just oh, she doesn't want to be held away from this weirdo in Canada for four years and oh, let's hope she decides to do this and shuts up.  And hang on a moment, "TOP MARKS TO ME FOR HOME EDUCATING HER!"  A) She never taught me ANY maths.  All the maths I know I taught myself since I got a computer from my brother-in-law at 15 years old.  And B) I hadn't even been given a test yet!  Yes, I would have to take a test if I wanted to saddle myself at this college, but who said I'd pass?  And who said I'd do business studies like she wanted me to do?  If I did anything, it would be some vague hope I could still get some kind of job in entertainment even if it was behind the scenes.  I suppose she thought she could bully me into doing what she wanted, and, if I failed the test, tell everybody that I was lazy and had backed out?

On the plus side, I did do one positive thing that day; walked into Ealing and got a photo taken for my driving license application.  Of course, even if I learnt to drive, we had no car.  But at least I'd feel that I'd learnt something constructive...unlike a subject like law or politics when I had not one scrap of interest in getting a job in either of those areas!

Mum's e-friend Jill sent me a cheer up box with a pot of body scrub and another of body butter which was a sweet gesture when I was feeling so low about everything.

June 20th 2012

Another day entirely wasted by David.  Mum didn't even get to go upstairs for a wash again as he insisted on going in the shower room first when she was feeling up to climbing the stairs and then she spent the rest of the day putting it off.

When he finally decided to go out at 2pm, he got angry that I needed to pee and wasn't ready to jump to attention.  He wouldn't allow me time to check that the bald patches at the back of my head were covered or that my dress was straight.  If I wanted to go out, it had to be NOW.

We only walked around the corner to the picture framing shop to find out how much it would cost to get a certificate that my great grandad had earned for serving as a train driver framed anyway.  David even managed to embarrass me there by trying to sit on a high stool and knocking it over!

The post office had closed at 1pm so David had the perfect excuse to leave for Grottsville early again, going to the one in Ealing Broadway on his way.

Mum was in a foul mood as usual.  She asked me to open the window for her, then shouted at me when I banged my knee on the table that I would damage her aunt's table.  "Your knees must be covered in bruises...and your dress is riding further and further up at the back".  She kept picking on me that my dresses were too short...but considering I mainly wore knee-length tea dresses, I'm not sure what her problem was!  She'd given me a real phobia about it though, hence me wanting to check the back of my dress before I went out every time!

Her real bad temper was caused by seeing me waver at the idea of college though.  David was supposed to be ringing the college (to ask further questions about the business access course -  Mum's latest plan for me was that I should study "British law and politics") but he was too tired after our oh, so long walk round the block!

David had two job interviews the following week - in central London, so he would not be hiring a car.  Meanwhile, I had three bids on eBay items in Grottsville and no way of collecting them.

And finally, I took some photos of Peter the squirrel when he came up to the back door to be fed.  We didn't have any nuts for him that day so he had to make do with bread.

Wasn't he cute?  Sadly, he is no longer with us...but that's a story for another day, a long way in the past to me now, and a long way in the future to you, dear reader.

Best wishes,
Desirée  xxx

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Birthday Cards and Shopping Sprees!

June 11th 2012

Mum went to Ealing Hospital to have her tests at long last.  Mum was amused that the Indian man who carried out the tests was called Shane (because apparently Indians can't have Western names?!  Seriously?)  She was not so amused that he gave her the ECG results in a sealed envelope which must mean that she was dying.  Uh...but did the actual result say that you were dying?  No?  Then what are you worried about?

David went to Ealing while she was having the tests and was annoyed that she was finished so quickly.  It must be nice to have such a supportive husband who is more concerned about you being an inconvenience than he is about what your test results say.

We all went to Hobbycraft afterwards in search of a picture frame with multiple apertures.  We had no luck as apparently these kinds of frames were out of fashion now.  That didn't stop David making us walk around three times (even though we'd already looked at the picture frame section and seen there was nothing we wanted).  It turned out that he was looking for aperture cards, fully believing that was what Mum wanted!

Then we went to Grottsville to photograph the desk to sell.  David had done nothing to prepare it - it still had piles of stuff on top of it and one handle was missing...he didn't know where it was!  I don't know what he'd been doing over there at all really.  Even the bedroom he was supposed to have been clearing was still full of bags containing his unsavoury publications.  Welcome to my world, readers.  THIS is what my father made every room look like when I was a child, and why I didn't have so much as a bed until I was almost 20 years old.

No wonder I grew up to be such a strange person really, is it?!

We had a vegetarian cottage pie while we were there and I put a children's TV channel on to see if I could catch any MLP adverts on video.  I did manage to get two - both for the Friendship Express.  Meanwhile, my parents both laughed raucously at Mr Bean.  Little things please little minds and all that jazz?

I also photographed my MLP chocolate collection with a view to selling off as much as I could find homes for.

A hoarder?  Moi?  No way!  I only had one other crate full of this stuff!

It's sad really.  I can see now that I obsessively collected MLP stuff as a substitute for the life I wanted, socialising and taking theatre classes.  It made me feel like I had a handle on something on my life and could achieve a goal by having every item that depicted a brightly coloured horse.  But it never really made me happy as such.  And it's not even like I can make the money back and spend it on the lessons I wanted (too late to achieve my dream of being a professional performer anyway probably) because who but me would buy an out of date birthday cake with a marzipan pony on top of it?!

David was in a horrible mood, talking about selling Grottsville to bully Mum into giving him money to renovate it.  As for me, I'd had no drink since before dinner the previous day as my Volvic bottle had developed fungus inside it and I didn't even own so much as a mug or cup.  David had got me some Alpro Soya Milk in a carton.  I was so dizzy from dehydration that I couldn't think straight so he screamed at me when I asked where he'd put it.  "It's in the bl**dy fridge, of course!  Where else do you think it would be?"

I was contacted by yet another cheeky eBayer who wanted to buy a £5 item for $6 (about £3) including shipping.  I wouldn't even be able to ship it to the USA for $6!

In the evening, I sat down and drew a birthday card for Shane (not the ECG man!)  It was nice to take the time out to actually do some painting.  I think I probably could improve with practise.

June 12th 2012

Mum had to go for yet more tests including a knee scan, this time at Edgware Hospital.  She had to be pulled part way out of the "oven" as she called it because she was so claustrophobic!  Hopefully they still managed to get a clear scan.

Today's idiot was not Indian nor was he called Shane.  (Actually his nationality and name were apparently not worthy of note as Mum never mentioned them!)  Anyway, he told her not to walk down the stairs backwards as it was dangerous.  Well, she had a bad knee and couldn't walk downstairs any other way.  What was she supposed to do?  Not go for the scan now that she'd finally found a doctor who'd taken her seriously enough to send her for one?

David and I walked around the local shops while she was having the tests done.

I found a couple of new rides to photograph... G4 colouring books and headphones in Poundland...

...and found this funny little My Lovely Horse fakie in Oxfam for 99p!

We stopped at Home Bargains and Family Bargains on the way back but didn't find anything we wanted.  We were meant to be going to Brent Cross and Grottsville too but Mum got tired and decided not to go after all.  So David and I just went to Ealing Broadway...where I bought even more stuff.  Crikey, I had enough money back then, didn't I?!

I got this dress for a fiver...

...and got a new Love Your Body card at The Body Shop (which meant I got a free lotion).  I also got a Love etc. Gift Pack reduced from £25.00 to £13.50 (which included my favourite £18.00 perfume!)

I fell in love with their summer range too but couldn't afford any more.

I wasn't sure if I wanted to shop in there any more anyway.  The stupid woman behind the counter moaned loudly to another member of staff (while she was serving us!) that she "felt sick" and "was going to the toilet in a minute".  She then gave me a Love Your Body card to sign...then announced that she still had my card behind the counter, and acted as if it was my fault for signing the wrong one!

We popped in the library on the way back to the car park.  David borrowed four books but laughed out loud when I picked one up.  Well, why had he let me get a library card if he was going to put me off of reading anything anyway?

June 13th 2012

David wasted the day in the bathroom and didn't even come downstairs until 1pm.  Mum was cross with him as ever and I snapped something during breakfast about how he was always upstairs and listening in whenever I wanted to speak to somebody on Skype.  Apparently I wasn't allowed to say anything against him eavesdropping though as he "kept me".  Well, maybe he wouldn't have to keep me if I'd been provided with a basic education like any normal person.

We went to Grottsville where I had to photograph some teacups on the filthy kitchen countertop.  Mum would never be able to sell them on eBay with such a horrible background!  I tried to clean up my old Sylvanian Families with a view to selling them but just made myself ill with allergies due to the sheer quantity of dust.

Mum picked up a lampshade she had intended to sell but deemed it too bad to list as it was covered in "earwax glue"!  (Discoloued glue along the seams)  David went to throw it away but I couldn't bear to see it go to the tip so I put my hand out and saved it.  I had no idea what to do with it, but it was just too pretty to get rid of like that.

Mum found another stash of unsavoury publications which David had obviously filed away to keep.  I went mad, tore them up and screamed at him for ruining my life and turning me into the man-loathing freak I am today.  He retaliated that I was "a b***h who shouldn't be in his house".  Well, it's a shame he didn't feel that way when he was messing up my childhood.

The family next door were playing AWFUL music (no idea what music as it was in a foreign language that I didn't recognise) at a ridiculous volume.  I turned the TV up as loud as it would go to try and at least make them aware of how they were making us suffer but their music just drowned it out!  Were they deaf?!
We stopped at Brentford for fries and Twix McFlurries on the way home.  The hire car was to be returned that evening so we thought we may as well make the best of it.

I was having terrible panic attacks about college.  They still hadn't rung me back so I was worrying about missing the last date to apply.  On the other hand, I almost hoped that they wouldn't call me as I knew this would be the nail in the coffin of my theatre dreams if I got stuck in university studying something else until I was 25...and getting into debt...  I'd stressed so much that I'd given myself toothache by grinding my teeth and clenching my jaw.

On the coin operated ride research front, I'd found out that there was a 1960s BRH Fibreglass dolphin still in operation in St Osyth.  Another place to add to my "ride spotting list"!

June 14th 2012

Mum walked around the block with me.  She ranted the whole way about her swollen ankles and how I'd "forced her to go" and now the "skin on her feet had broken".  She was "worse than last time".  Well, she would be if she refused to go anywhere as her legs would obviously seize up.  I hadn't forced her to go anyway.  I'd simply asked if she wanted to come with me or not!

Once I'd dropped her back at Woodberry, I power walked to Northfields Library (which was even more boring and book-less than Ealing Library!) and back around the block on my own.

I was still badly stressed about the idea of college and being trapped doing something I didn't want to do until I was 25.  Mum just said that I "shouldn't throw my life away for anyone" (meaning take a pointless theatre course which she seemed to be convinced my friend in Canada had persuaded me to take...)  When I tried to explain my predicament and ask her advice, she replied, "Don't you dare feel sorry for yourself when I'm dead, because you'll have caused it!"

There was a stain on her bedroom carpet which she blamed me for even though I hadn't been in that room.  Personally I think David had walked in there wearing muddy shoes, but why should she believe me?

I sold 47 items on eBay including six MIB Ponies which were still in Grottsville.  How on Earth would David manage to transport those safely on public transport?

June 15th 2012

Another dreadful day of panic attacks.  David rang the college...they'd lost my records (surprise, surprise) and rang me back to make an appointment for the following Tuesday at noon.

I hate talking on the phone in front of anyone and panicked when I had nowhere private to go.  I ended up running into the front garden in just my socks, then I couldn't hear what they were saying due to noisy passing traffic.  So I had to come back indoors and run up two flights of stairs (as David was on the 1st floor) with him yelling at me all the way how "pathetic" I was.

Mum was in a foul mood all day long again.  I "shouldn't have ever wanted to do a theatre course, or go to a country I've never been to, or meet someone I'd never met".  "Theatre wasn't real education anyway".  She'd "rather I did nothing than a theatre course".  Well, personally I'd rather do nothing than one of these Access Courses.  I hated the idea of nursing or teaching and I knew I'd never get onto a business course due to nobody ever teaching me any maths when I was younger.

I was worrying about my health too as I hadn't had my period for almost two months and was in a lot of pain with cramps etc.  Well, at least I knew it couldn't be the obvious reason for not having a period!  Another good thing about having no men in your life!

I cried so much over all my stress that I gave myself a headache and kept going dizzy.  I fell over as I tried to sit down and managed to cut the back of my heel open on the chair.

David and I walked to South Ealing Post Office to ship Mum's latest eBay items (cigarette lighters that used to belong to her aunt) and had even more trouble with them.  "Are you selling off your old things?"  David said that we were and the bloke behind the desk looked very suspicious.  He then refused to give us a proof of posting again saying that we "didn't need a proof of posting from him as we already knew the address"!  Uh...I don't think he quite understood the purpose of proof of posting!

Best wishes,
Desirée  xxx

Monday, 4 January 2016

300 Years of History Comes To a Sad End and a Trip to the Horse Sanctuary

June 6th 2012

David and I walked to Ealing Broadway.  Even that was only around 8400 steps!  How do people ever make their 10,000 a day?

I made two superbly exciting purchases while I was there; gel pens in Tesco and anti-perspirent in Savers!  I forgot to get any headphones and also forgot that I needed a picture taken in the photo booth...the latter was especially annoying having just washed my hair the night before meaning I was feeling at my most confident for having my picture taken.  I wanted to go to the Body Shop too but didn't like to get David to walk to the other end of the shopping centre.

Oh well, at least I finally managed to get near enough to the Bob the Builder ride to take some photos!

We got new library cards.  I hadn't been a member of the library since I was about 14 and was eager to start reading again.  Obviously they hadn't missed me as the librarian "thought I'd been a member there for years"!  I couldn't believe how much the library had changed since I was last there.  There were hardly any books there now, just big open modern spaces, computers and a coffee shop!  And everybody was so rude and noisy.  In my day, everyone was forced to whisper or risk being thrown out but now everyone just spoke as normal...and one couple were even having a full blown argument, shouting "Don't talk to me!  I don't even know you any more!" across the library!

We walked back through Walpole Park and I got upset to see that four of the old trees that have been there for over 300 years had been deemed dangerous and were to be cut down.  I realise these things are necessary but it didn't make it any less sad.

Mum attempted to clean the kitchen countertops while we were out and discovered that they were scratched.  She tried to blame me but I don't see how I could have damaged them.  I never even cut anything directly on the countertop!

We had lentil soup for dinner - another first for me.  I loved it, but the smell of it mixed with the smell of cleaning products in the kitchen made me feel sick for some reason.

David returned to Grottsville as usual that night, announcing that he wouldn't be coming to see us at all the next day.  How nice for him to be able to choose which house to spend his days in!

June 7th 2012

It rained ALL DAY meaning I only managed to walk across the road to post two letters for Mum.  I wouldn't get fit or lose weight like that.

Ironically, the sun came out (very briefly) after that, but it was too late for me to go out as I knew it would cause too much aggro and stress with Mum.

Mum was in another obsessive cleaning mood and spent the day going up and down the stairs trying to clear up in various rooms.  Then she wondered why she was tired having spent most of the last few weeks sitting dead still!  Of course she automatically decided that her bad heart was to blame for her tiredness.  No, you were just overdoing it all at once, mother dearest!

She then turned around and had a go at me for "doing very little".  (Well, I was sitting down but only because I was listing on eBay and photographing more stuff to list...which IS another part of clearing up!)

June 8th 2012

David very briefly visited us from 2-6pm.  Grottsville seemed to have become his permanent home now.  He'd managed to hurt his toe on a bag of newspapers and magazines...good.  It served him right for keeping so many unpleasant things.

I walked to the South Ealing charity shops (where I found nothing) and to the Co-Op to buy cheap ice cream.  I got Magnums and what turned to to be the nicest ice cream I'd ever tasted, Ben & Jerry's Phish Food.  I wished I had the money to buy it more often!  Then again, wasn't I trying to lose weight?

I have a bit of a strange quirk when it comes to ice lollies.  Or rather, when it comes to the lolly sticks.  Something about my tongue touching the wet wood makes me feel funny.  My mouth feels like it's totally dried out!  I used to have a fear of doctors putting lolly sticks in my mouth to check my throat when I was a kid for the same reason.  Gosh, it's even happening now, just by thinking about it.  Well, there you go.  You always wanted to learn another of my weird quirks, didn't you?!

I found "Let's Play Poison", the episode of The Ray Bradbury Theatre which Shane Meier guest starred in, for free download online.  There weren't many of Shane Meier's TV appearances that I hadn't seen so it was nice to tick another one off.  Due to later occurrences, I must say that I don't take as much pleasure in watching these things as I used to, but I guess the old shows are always good for a laugh anyway!

I'd found a slot machine forum a few days previously which mentioned Andy, a chap who collected coin operated rides and had recently been featured in Mechanical Memories Magazine.  So, despite worrying that Andy might find me a bit weird or stalker-like, I tracked him down on eBay (quite easy really as he had a picture of two of his kiddie rides on his profile) and contacted him.  I'm glad I did as he wrote straight back and, as it turned out, became one of my best friends even to this very day.

What made things even more amazing was that it turned out that two of his rides were machines that I rode as a little girl!  

He had the RG Mitchell Moonbug which used to be at Willers Mill Safari Park where I went on my 8th birthday.

And, more interestingly, the Dalek ride from Bognor Pier!

As many of you will know, the rides of Bognor Pier were the rides that started my obsession with documenting old kiddie rides.  I first went to Bognor Pier in 1996 (when the above photograph was taken) and it was filled with rare, old rides from the 1950s-70s.  Sadly, the owner of the pier, John Harrison, retired that same year, and when I returned in 1997, I found that the new owner had disposed of all of the "old fashioned" machines.  I believed all of them to have been scrapped...although the Dalek and Magic Roundabout rides did make a brief reappearance in 1998/99 which gave me a small hope that the other rides might still be hiding out there in storage somewhere.  The Dalek had apparently been found in storage on Bognor Pier by a builder and Doctor Who enthusiast who had asked to buy it and restored it for his own collection a couple of years previously but then sold it onto Andy.  It was interesting to know that the Dalek had survived in storage right up until such recent times.  It made me wonder if there was any hope that my two favourite childhood rides, Carousel and Silver the life-sized horses, could have escaped the knacker's yard and still be hiding in a dark shed somewhere.

June 9th 2012

Andy sent me some more interesting ride pictures which he had saved from eBay over the years. (Before I'd even started looking for rides on there!)  One showed the Edwin Hall Noddy's Rock-a-Boat from Jackson's Pastimes in Mablethorpe.  I wonder if that one is still out there in someone's private collection?

David hired a car that night so we went to McDonalds for fries and Osterley Tesco.  David bought a horrible cut price sausage at the latter which resembled a piece of dog poo in both its appearance and fragrance.  I didn't want it anywhere near any food that I intended to eat and David got cross with me.

When we went through the self service checkout, it played up as usual, saying that items had been removed from the bagging area.  David blamed me for "picking things up and putting things down again" because I'd shifted our food to the opposite end of the bagging area to the dog poo sausage!  In fact, I hadn't touched it at that point.  If it was anyone's fault, it was his for putting the bananas too near to the scanner so that their full weight wasn't on the platform.  He was just annoyed that we weren't more accepting of his love of eating dead animals moulded into the shape of dog poo.

We discovered that the can of paint that David had brought all the way home on the bus from Richmond was leaking.  David had the bright idea of pouring the paint into a cake box.  As if the paint would really keep any better in there!  And he'd have ruined a perfectly good expensive cake box to boot!

Mum was in a terrible mood, accusing me of "spending too long on the computer and never doing anything when I should be gardening"...which was pretty hilarious when she wouldn't let me do any gardening as I wasn't strong enough as a mere woman anyway!  I know she was stressed about her test results and had convinced herself that she was having a heart attack every time she felt slightly tired or breathless, but that was no excuse to take it out on me!

June 10th 2012

Mum got me up at 5.45am because my computer wouldn't switch on again.  I'm feeling sick to my stomach reading these old blog notes as I can see I had countless warnings that the computer was packing up...but I still lost so much stuff when the inevitable eventually happened.  WHY didn't I back it up?!  WHY?!

David and I went to Redwings Horse Sanctuary for my adoption horse Dolly's birthday party.  Mum refused to come with us as it was "boring" and "doing something so strenuous might give her a heart attack"!  David was quite happy not to go at all.  He would paint the wall instead.  The "hire car money was not wasted as it had already been paid".  Eventually I persuaded him to take me but we got there late just as the party was starting.

I'm not sure why I bother with the parties anyway really as they're obviously aimed at kids, it's just that Dolly is not a very sociable pony and usually stays on the other side of the paddock when you go to see her any other time.  Today she and her best friend, Troy, had been put in a special area to see their fans.  Poor Troy was quite restless.

He was a friendly horse but only on his own terms and nobody ever restrains their kids in that place.  A group of horrible common children were climbing on the fence and yelling at Troy as he paced up and down and their mother just looked on.  It would have served them right if Troy had come and thrown the kids off of the fence, but I suppose poor old Troy would have got the blame as a dangerous animal then.

They were just so disrespectful.  The common children's mother actually climbed onto a hay truck while her partner took a photograph of her.  I wouldn't dare to climb on someone else's property in that way!

I think I managed to take some really nice photos for once.  (Which was nice as Dolly isn't normally very photogenic!)  Also pictured here are some of the other horses at Redwings including adoption star Finnegan (who is sadly no longer with us) and my favourite little pony, Lilly.

We went to McDonalds in the evening for yet more fries.  I'm surprised I didn't look like a fry by this point...then again, fries are thin little things, the exact opposite of what they cause us to be!

Best wishes,
Desirée  xxx