Wednesday, 23 June 2010

All my own teeth

I've just woken up early because I had a bad dream. It was about my teeth rotting in my mouth. I decided to google it. Look what it says.....


"...One theory is that dreams about your teeth reflect your anxieties about your appearance and how others perceive you. Sadly, we live in a world where appearance and attractiveness matter and your teeth help to convey that image. Teeth play an important role in the game of flirtation, whether it be flashing those pearly white, kissing or necking. Thus, such dreams may stem from a fear of rejection, sexual impotence or the consequences of getting old. Additionally, a dream research found that women in menopause have frequent dreams about teeth. This further points to teeth dreams as being related to getting older and/or feeling unattractive and less feminine. Teeth are an important feature to your attractiveness and how you are presented to others. Caring about how you look is natural and healthy...."

Oh bloody chuffing  hell!

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

The Sunshine Home for the Elderly

...No...I'm not writing about my future. I'm writing about a disciplinary. Let me explain...

Some one I know (who shall remain nameless) works in a care home for the elderly. It's quite nicely run apparently. Bingo, weak tea, dried biscuits and the lovely smells of lavender ..in fact - they almost employed a nice jolly young lady to be the new entertainments co-ordinator - until they discovered she used to be a porn star (you couldn't make this stuff up). I said they should have employed her like a shot - would have been the most fun anybody had enjoyed for years...when word spread that 'Mistress Hard Core' was working there they'd have a full waiting list in less time than it would take to say 'Oh matron, I've wet myself'.

Anyway - back to the plot.....on one particular day  the residents had enjoyed a bit of a party. Sandwiches, sausage rolls, vol-au-vents... and a bit of la-di-da. A care worker was charged with the task of clearing up the mess - and off he trotted to fetch the hoover. Then, apparently, after cleaning the floor he attempted to clean the crumbs of the residents' laps - with a hoover. When my friend told me this I assumed he'd used the crevice tool (which would have been bad enough) ...can you imagine? Old folks have very frail and fragile skin - if he'd have used my 'turbo Dyson' he would have taken their fragile crispy skin right off in one suck!

But no, apparently not - we think that he actually lifted the main body of the vacuum cleaner into Doris's and Mavis's lap and attempted to clean up the crumbs that way. Seriously.

What's the betting that this poor unfortunate chap gets to keep his job?

As for Doris and Mavis - they've elected that he get a pay-rise. They've not had as much lap-action for years :)

Monday, 21 June 2010

Halliburton - at it again....

Halliburton is a massive American company. They're huge. Bigger than you can imagine. Really. Amongst their major shareholders are numerous members of the American Congress. Funnily enough Halliburton get loads of Government contracts. One of their subsidiaries KBR get nearly all the building contracts to do with the war zones that the US operate in overseas. Iraq and Afghanistan to mention just two. Try Googling 'Halliburton', and what will come up is lots of shameful tales of civilian workers' bodies being returned to the US in secret after they have been killed in combat zones - also the total lack of safety consideration given to native workers that they employ in these combat zones. If you do some reading about this - the scandal is massive - and time and time again it gets pushed under the carpet - with whispers of massive backhander payments to members of the Congress to ensure that Halliburton and KBR keep getting the contracts. There is even a 'whisper' of the murder of a journalist who was investigating these matters.

Imagine my surprise just now when watching Panorama and the investigation into the recent oil spill. Apparently the problem is with concrete 'keepers' around the drilling pipes which keep them stable within the seabed. There are supposed to be a certain number and investigations have shown that the true number is a lot less than the recommended number. The company responsible for supplying and fitting these concrete 'Keepers'....? Halliburton.

Well, well,, well (there's a pun in there somewhere).

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Telephone banking (shite) !

Hmmmm..trying to use switch card over internet.....apparently there's a block on my card...helpfully placed there by fraud prevention services....

Called the helpline (!) only to be told there's no problem with the card....well that's funny love because I couldn't put my lottery ticket on last night...could have won the bloody jackpot :)

Some dimwit told me to go to the nearest cashpoint machine and enter my pin and that should work (Jeez!). I insisted on talking to somebody more senior...

Twenty minutes later - after being shunted and shuffled through various call centres the length and breadth of the country - the block has been lifted and I can now use my card again. Please bring back good old fashioned branch banking. I don't ever want to speak to a spotty youth with a thick local accent in a dungeon basement rabbit hutch call centre EVER AGAIN.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Unexpected item in the bagging area.....

This post is especially for a special friend of mine who lives in Twickenham. I know she'll understand it perfectly.......

I've just been to Sainsbury's for food as I have pals coming round to dinner tonight. As per usual they didn't have enough checkouts open (Look Justin mate....you're earn a shedload to run that company...how bloody hard can it be?)...so I meandered towards the self-service checkout station. (I know that was probably a mistake). This was after being sent to 3 different (all incorrect) locations to locate tin foil (roast salmon anyone?), so my mood was already piqued. My pip was squeaked.

I don't know about you - but I hate the self service checkout almost as much as anything else in the world - but needs must and I wanted to get home and have a sausage sandwich.

You scan...you put it in the bagging area. This is where the difficulty begins. If you pop item straight into your trolley the machine can't cope and starts a meltdown...this requires supervisor to come along and enter a magical Harry Potter like code to rectify the situation. This is what happened with my roasting tin. Along came the supervisor and explained it to me (I think she'd had a frontal lobotomy)...she said that it works that way to prevent shoplifting. I know I'm bordering on the menopausal - but as yet - haven't started shoplifting...and if I was to I would be knicking fags and booze not a fricking roasting tin :)

Anyway - I simply had to question the logic of that. SIMPLY - HAD - TO. It doesn't make sense because you've already scanned the item, so you're going to have to pay for it...right? So why doesn't the machine allow you to pop any item - once scanned - anywhere you chose. Up the supervisor's jacksy would be a good place to start. Anyway - when faced with this unquestionable logic the supervisor went into a kind of panic and the stitches from her recent brain operation (where said brain is removed and replaced with chocolate blancmange) started to come apart and then her head fell off.

At this point I scanned a bottle of wine - only to be told that I required authorisation in case I wasn't 25...(I wish). That annoys me because the law says 18, but supermarkets everywhere have started a coalition and decreed that you have to look 25.....anyway I look 65 so what's the bloody problem? At this point I told the machine in no uncertain terms that I am 46 ACTUALLY, so just give me MY WINE. I was actually shouting at the machine in the vain hope that the little twatty goblin who lives inside it would just work my way for once.

Two very nice security guards have just delivered me back home, laid me on the sofa under a blanket, given me two tamazapan tablets and some oil of evening primrose and locked the door on their way out.


Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Oh My Back.....

Oh my back. The logs arrived. Half a ton of them. Because access to my back garden (where I wanted the logs stacking) is restricted (narrow steps...small gate) they had to leave them out the front. So a transit tipper dumped half a ton of logs outside the front door..on the road (lucky I have some cones to mark out the hazard. Can you just imagine of Dorothy from number 27 had run her brand new Clio right into a pile of firewood because she was concentrating on her Shepherd's Pie that she was going to have for tea rather than any hazardous logs?).

Anyway - they had to be moved...and there is only me. It took me two hours, and I had to traipse through the lounge and dining room with each sackful. It was knackering and back breaking. Then they all had to be stacked against the outside wall of the house. That took another 45 minutes. At times like that I wish I had a husband...anybody's husband would do.

I was so done-in when I'd finished that I had to go and get Fish and Chips because I was too tired to be 'creative' in the kitchen - and I had 'nowt in :)

Anyway, now I have a log stack to be proud of. Enough wood to see Mrs Wood through the winter....but can't stand up straight as I've done my back in :)

I put a post on Facebook to say I was 'Shifting logs' and my friend mis-read it and thought it said 'Tracy Wood is shitting logs'...that made me laugh...a lot!

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Buy Local

After about 24 hours of research into purchasing combustable materials to burn upon my lovely open fire...sourcing dried hardwood logs which have been (preferably) kiln dried...and taking great care to avoid 'green wood' which produces no heat and leaves loads of tar up your chimney...I have conversed with a few log suppliers from various locations and discussed prices, delivery times, stacking (who is going to move it all from the roadside delivery round to my little garden?...I am a woman living alone....sob!).

All very frustrating and time consuming and massive variations in price.....just as I was about to give up...I discovered the divine Nick who is a tree surgeon operating here in Sheffield. He will deliver half a transit load (which equates to about 1.5 cubic metres) for £80 (cash)....he will stack it all for me, and no doubt avail himself of my lovely homely tea and coffee making facilities! He will also deliver at a time to suit me. (Nobody else would - they were all a bit vague - and if you left half a ton of logs outside my house when I'm not in...you can bet by the time I got back half of Sheffield would have been round to 'help themselves'). He will also deliver this afternoon...no waiting three days for an internet delivery.

So - here I am - very pleased with that result - and more than happy to advocate 'shopping locally'.

PS - I've also ordered a flat pack (wailing and gnashing of teeth) wooden log store for the back garden...but alas...that was ordered from t'internet so no doubt I'll be waiting a fortnight for that baby.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Apologies to Monty Python...

"I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay...I sleep all night and I work all day.......Cut down trees, eat my lunch and go to the lavatory...on Wednesdays I go shopping and have buttered scones for tea...."

This is it...my lovely log splitter....Isn't it fab? You big strong boys can keep your chopping blocks and your axes...I'm sticking with this.

It finally showed up with contrite delivery driver at 2pm. I rushed out to buy logs and set to work.

I now have half a shed full of nice small thinner logs which should burn beautifully on my little log fire.

We don't need menfolk around here. So to precis the week of DIY delights...I have fitted a new loo seat, chopped (or rather split) five bags of logs, and ordered new knobs for my cooker.

Did I tell you I have my own drill?

PS I didn't wear safety googles (!) - because I'm hard........

The joys of t'internet shopping......

Well...I have ordered a lovely 'log splitter' from t'internet. Paid extra for a 24 hour delivery. That was on Thursday. It didn't come on Friday, and clearly the world stops turning over the weekend and there are no such things as home deliveries at the weekend (God only knows why when you can do everything else at the weekend)....this morning I got a text message to say my delivery would be between 7.30am and noon.

Oh look at the fooking time. It's 12.55 and no parcel. Clearly I have checked the 'super dooper on line parcel tracking website'. It says my parcel left Chesterfield at 7am and it's on the van. Yaaaay. It's not bloody here though - is it?

I've just called the ' help-line' (so badly named) to be told by a cheeky young vixen from Liverpool that my parcel is on the van and she couldn't tell me more than that. Makes no difference that I paid an extra £2 for a morning delivery. Clearly they CAN'T contact the driver...(well I hope none of his kids are involved in any kind of accident today because he can't be contacted - what utter bollocks - doesn't he have a mobile phone......doh).

What a crock. It staggers me that we can do so much with technology - and yet I still have to wait in all day for a fooking delivery. I asked if I could leave a note in the window and ask for the driver to drop the parcel next door at the building firm - but no...it has to be signed for by the recipient only.

Fook Fook Fook :)

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Blast from the past

I've just been to Fi's to watch the match. We have a mutual pal. He's a gardener, and has been doing some work on my garden. He's also an ex...of mine. From some sixteen years ago (or maybe a bit more...give or take a year or two). Since we split up I don't think he's had another girlfriend (I have this effect.....).

Well, he is a nice chap - but - well it's so much in the past that it's almost pre-historic. He'd had a drink and kept sitting next to me and talking about the past.....remembering as you do...then he grabbed my hand...(eek).

He was also telling me that I've got a lot more winkles than I had before (!), he prefers my hair blonde to dark brown, and then (la piece de resistance) ...that when we were together he found it difficult because I was such a nightmare!!!!!!!!!!!

Then he asked me if I wanted to go for a ride on his motorbike.....

I won't tell you what I said....

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Look at the time....

...and I've just got home. Dirty - Stop - Out. 

Tonight I've been out with the girls from school. Jayne Wilkinson, Sarah Ford, Michelle Spooner, Kate Ashberry and Belinda Patchett. Of course, none of them are called these names any more...they all have the same first names but as they're all married they have new surnames (well - quite old actually as they have clocked up about 90 years of marriage between them)...but those are the names I know them as. 

It's thirty years since we were all together on a daily basis - and do you know......the girls haven't changed a bit. I've had a great night out x

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Settled....so what next?

Rightio...we're all settled now. Back, cosy and snug in the little cottage. We have pretty hanging baskets by the front door, a log fire burning in the grate...a pretty little cottage garden at the back which is a joy to sit in (that's if it would stop raining)...the dog is happy...I have my lovely comfy bed and all my own things surrounding me. I can be exactly who I am...eat what I choose...got to bed when I want...get up when I want - and just be me. It's fab. .....and if I want the odd fag or drink - then I can :) Nobody is here telling me how naughty I am, or how bad I am or how I just got it wrong. Much better, much, much better. I am happy and grateful.

The next thing is to find gainful employment and then perhaps a nice man to share it all with! It will all come right in time...these things always do. I am astonished in the change in how I feel compared to say...back in February when my little world had been turned right on its head. It's true that everything happens for a reason and that even disasters turn out to be a blessing in disguise.

I am truly grateful for all I have x

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Knob problems (!)

I'm not being rude...honestly...but my day so far has been all about oven knobs.

Because the tenant hardly ever cleaned the cooker - the oven control knobs became black with burnt on grease (yummy). When they were cleaned yesterday the numbers and symbols on the knobs had disappeared (Oh the trials of a middle aged woman who wants to bake a souffle!).

I have spent four bloody hours on the 'interweb and phone today trying deperately to source replacements knobs for my oven and grill. Problem was I didn't know the model number of the cooker. The 'plate' which I have been assured is on the inside edge of the oven door (NO IT'S NOT - I'VE LOOKED A THOUSAND TIMES) is missing.

Being helpful I offered to take a photo of the oven and e mail it so that my cooker could be identified. But I wasn't talking to an oven specialist...oh no .....once again I was talking to a foreigner in an overseas call centre. (fuckity fuck fuck).

Eventually, after trawling through about ten websites I finally recognised the correct part from it's photograph and managed to order it. The only problem...the original control knobs are brown...the replacement ones will be white.

Well - it was either that - or get a new cooker - and I don't have £500 to spare right now.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Inappropriate places for the the Dog to go Potty

This afternoon I took Millie to the Vet (5 minutes - £46...robbing bastards) because she's got something wrong with her ear and keeps shaking her head. 

After the consulation she trotted out of the Vet's room - trotted into reception and promptly did a dump on the floor! 

I don't know if she got caught short or was just really objecting to the bill!

Do It Myself

Yesterday I purchased a new toilet seat. I can't explain why - apart from the fact that it was extremely necessary. I can't quite fathom how somebody can use a toilet for over two years and NEVER clean under the seat...yuch...yuch...yuch...yuch.

Anyway - Got new loo seat from Homebase yesterday and this morning went to fit it. Sadly the fittings for the old one had corroded quite badly (you don't say?). I had my adjustable spanners and my pliers and went to work. I had to work  from underneath the toilet seat - so there I am on my back, on the floor...looking upwards...trying to unscrew the badly corroded (rather whiffy) fittings. The gap at the side of the toilet is quite small -I got one arm in, got the other arm in, squeezed my shoulders in - and then got properly stuck. And I mean properly stuck. For about ten minutes. 

I was thinking..."I am 46 years old, have never had dinner (let alone sex) with George Clooney and I'm going to die of starvation wedged behind a toilet somewhere in Sheffield". That's not really a great thought to have. 

Anyway - eventually I got free, and after another ten minutes and a liberal squirt of WD40 (should have used that in the beginning) I eventually managed to remove the offending stinky horrid skanky loo seat...fit the new one (has only ever had my lovely bottom sat upon it) and have a recovery cup of coffee and fag.

I think next time I'll get a little man in x

Sunday, 6 June 2010

My Mum (and her daft comments)

My friend Su has been up for the weekend (she's still here in fact). Her proper name is Surinda. She's of Indian extraction and therefore has brown skin.

Today my Mum and brother and my Uncle and his wife... and Su and I went out for lunch. My Mum said to Su...."You've got a lovely skin colour....where did you get your tan from Duck?"

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Sweet Dreams

This is a picture of my bedroom. I've only put it on here because Liz wanted to see it - so I've mailed her a copy - but I think it's a lovely bedroom...so I wanted you all to see it too. (The Teddy Bear is called Eugene and he has been with me since I was 21. He was bought for me by my then best friend Lesley...he's travelled round the world with me, lived everywhere I have lived...Dan took to him for a while...but now he's back living with me!)

Tonight I have been two and half hours and five telephone calls (to bloody India) to set up my wireless router. Anyway it's done now.....so I'm sat on the sofa with a glass of red - typing this! Fab x

Sorted

Everything is now unpacked and I am writing this blog entry on my lovely Mac. Straight out of the box for the first time in 5 months, and it just worked. Fab!

I have all my furniture now and my pretty things and pictures around me - so I am now one very happy girl! I have my pushbike (!) and my piano (!) and my cookery books.

Settled - at last - after five months of being a refugee.

Keep the home fires burning.....

Isn't that the most perfect thing that you've ever seen? (Apart from George Clooney - buck naked - walking towards you with a smile and a rose clenched between his teeth of course....).

Ladies and Gentleman...I give you...'My Fireplace'. XX (yaaaaaay)

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Wee Cottage update...

Skip News. I hired the biggest one they do. Pete has been here for a few hours this afternoon and completely dismembered the garden. Bearing in mind....NOTHING has been done to it for four and half years - so everything needed cutting and pruning very very harshly. It's looking a bit bald but I am assured by man with green fingers that it will all grow back.

I have chucked away a few things today into the huge yellow skip.....and only one person has had a rummage through it...and they left empty handed!

Today I purchased a kitchen waste bin...no more black bin bags hanging off the back of a chair for this girl...Oh No! I signed up for dual fuel with the energy company (not the obvious one!) and arranged to have my carpets cleaned and the cooker steam cleaned. Tomorrow my stuff arrives from storage.....that'll be fun because there's bound to be lots more stuff than I remembered...

The tenant told me that none of the lights in the kitchen worked any more, and the main bathroom light didn't work. I thought we were facing a re-wire - but no - a trip to Homebase, purchased a few bulbs, and hey presto - it's like Blackpool illuminations round here. I can't believe that they've lived in semi-darkness for years for the want of new bulbs! Tits.

A lovely night with the girls

Last night I had the girls round. ("Here come the girls"). I cooked! Nothing complicated or Delia like as I don't yet have the implements. We had toast and pate (not home made)...Pork steaks, salad and new potatoes, followed by raspberries and strawberries and lovely double cream...then coffee (Forgot the mints).

None of the girls...Jayne, Fiona and Helen...had ever met before..but they are all very dear to me. They got on famously and there wasn't a quiet minute round the table. I used my proper dinner service, my beautiful glasses, and my lovely dining room. We even had linen knapkins and silver knapkin rings...(oh how bloody posh you are!)

It turns out that Fiona and Jayne knew loads of the same people (Sheffield is one big village - everybody knows everybody) and we were nattering until past midnight. It was such a lovely lovely evening. I like being home in Sheffield, and I love my Sheffield friends.... XX (Note to Southern friends and one special next door neighbour friend in Banbury....I love you all and miss you all like mad x)

Blazing log fire.......

Today I had my gas fire taken out and replaced with a log basket. It was a 'pretend' gas coal effect fire. The gas engineer just removed the gubbins from the middle.....I kept the wrought iron fire basket and he cut off and sealed the gas pipe. Total cost £25.00.

I went and bought logs and a log basket, fire guard and a set of fire irons - plus some logs and fire lighters. Total cost.....£80.

So I have a blazing log fire for £105. My budget had been £300. That means I have £195 to spend on sweets. xx

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Sainsury's

Have just been to Sainsbury's. Because I wanted to be in and out quicksticks...I was there for 7am. I struggled to find some of the stuff I wanted so I had to ask. A spotty geeky young man who had obviously not worked there very long....hadn't a clue! Rushed to checkout with my trolley...only to find a woman in front of me at the one checkout that was open with a trolley loaded to the ceiling (she must have been shopping for an impending seige....it was only seven thirty - I have no clue how she'd managed to locate all her items in just half an hour)......I chuntered and asked a supervisor if they could open another till. "I wasn't here for 7am to wait in a queue" I said - pointedly - a la Hyancinth Bouquet - Result - another checkout opened, shopping paid for - back home with cup of latte for 7.50. That's the way to do it.....

Things I have purchased include a pan set, a colander, a sweeping brush, a feather duster (oh the cobwebs) food, some very nice balsamic vinegar and top quality olive oil (that cost more than the pan set), more washing powder, dog food (oh - do you have a dog?), two latte glasses, and a newspaper.

Happy x

Under pressure...

There's 'nowt like putting yourself under a bit of pressure. Today I've got the removal men coming to bring my stuff that's been in storage since January. I've got Virgin (none of those round here!) Media coming to fit my phone line, broadband and tv (yaaaaaaaay...I can watch TV again), and I've got 2 girlies coming round for dinner tonight....off to Sainsbergs in a mo.....when I've checked on t'internet what time they open. I'm cooking some potatoes so I need to buy a pan!

Busy Busy Busy........later!