Monday, 24 December 2007

The final countdown

Failure. Total failure. I spent all weekend chanting 'I must be ready for Monday, I must be ready for Monday'. Sure enough I woke up at the crack of dawn, but for the life of me couldn't remember what I had to do. After some scuffling, I managed to get H up to fuel me with some coffee, but I still couldn't remember. Then there was a terrible grinding sound outside the window. The bin collectors! I screamed at H.'What are they collecting? Is it the bin or the container?' 'Both!' 'Well get our bin out...move it! 'Which bin?' It doesn't matter which bin...move a bin out towards the road!' 'Which bin?' 'Oh for Christ's sake!' 'I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH THE BIN!' '****!!!' 'It's too late, they've gone...' 'What do you mean they've gone?' 'They're down the road now..' 'Well follow them! Tell them to come back!' Chase them with the bin...' ' ' (The well known silent treatment). The bin wasn't emptied. Now I face a Christmas and New Year of shame. Piles of rubbish. Killer bacteria. Rat infestation. What makes it worse is that I know my bin cleaner is coming today. What is he going to say when he finds the bin still full? Oh the disgrace! Dear Readers I can only recommend another blog where this sort of thing never happens. A blog where all is grace and charm. It's at:
Sorry to have wasted so much of your time...

Friday, 21 December 2007

Shakin' Stevens

I wasn't going to write to you today, but it's been such a RED LETTER DAY, as we say, that I thought I must. As you know we had no allotment group scheduled so I agreed to collect money for our mental health charity outside Tescos. Of course, I dressed for the occasion with my new bright red furry jacket, large Russian hat (well it was freezing cold), and natty little mouse pin whose eyes light up and play Jingle Bells when its nose is pressed. I was soon into the swing of things calling out, 'Save the Mad. We can't help it!' and gathering in pots of money, when our leader informed me I mustn't use the word mad as it would upset the others. But, I said, I'm mad myself. Really, he said, I would never have guessed. But, I said, I thought we were all mad in this charity. Surely you're not telling me you're sane? He took my point. Suddenly he did something quite amazing and totally illegal: he shook his tin! Despite my protests he continued. Won't it be fun when we get arrested? he kept saying. Eventually the store manager came out and told him to stop. Anyway, it was great fun for an hour, but I have to say two and a half hours (which I later found out I'd been scheduled to do) was a bit much. I was amazed at how generous the citizens of Cambridge were, especially as this week we've had a real shock. We've been told we must put out next week's bins a day early and the week after next's a day later. It's all so complex! I came home to find the street deserted. Perhaps everyone has cracked under the strain? How relieved I was to enter my front door and find the beautiful pot pourri I'd made still in place and covering the rampant smell of cat's (or cats') pee magnificently. If you want to know how it's done: you open a few packets of spices from the local Indian (or Pakistani) shop into a large tray; over the top of this you place bay leaves, rosemary and sprigs of anything with red berries; then you nestle in amongst this four oranges which have been generously spiked with whole cloves. So simple, so cheap, and quite, quite wonderful!

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Bleak House

Lordy, what has happened? Is my photo to be permanently squidged? This is what happens when you start playing with things you don't really understand. Computers. Cars. Candles. Yes, candles. I bought a whole stack of cut price ones and last night thought I'd try a few out. After spending about half an hour on my knees trying to get them lit, I settled down for a romantic evening in front of the TV. I was thoroughly engrossed in 'House of the Tiny Tearaways' so at first didn't notice the smoke. By the time I did notice flames were leaping out of the tiny glass jars. I managed to smother most of them with my cup of Horlicks, but goodness knows what could have happened had I been less alert. So much for cheap Chinese imports! Anyway, I was disappointed to discover that 'House of the Tiny Tearaways' was about children and not cats, as I could well do with some help in that area at the moment. This morning I awoke to find the back and front ends (ie not the middle) of a mouse on the carpet. Next thing I knew Tiger Woods was being violently sick----you've guessed it, the middle was making its comeback. Having cleared everything up, I went into the office to start work on the computer and noticed a very penetrating odour of cat's (or cats') pee. I suspect Tiger again as I know he doesn't like to 'go' outside when it's cold. Now I'm writing this I can hear the two of them dismantling the decorations in the living room. I need more than a couple of clinical psychologists I can tell you.

Monday, 17 December 2007

Time for bed

Oh lordy, I don't know what to say. I was just going to make a quick check on my blog this morning, only to find something totally untoward has happened with the banner photo. It's disappeared up its own arse, that's what! As I've no idea how to put this in computer language, I don't know if I can restore it for you. Oh, poor festive readers. What a thrill you are missing! No doubt, though, you are not too bothered about that, as you've come to hear about the allotment. Yes, well the little group went up there on Friday, inspected the pile of manure, and decided to have some heartwarming cocoa and biscuits. I took up the BBC Gardeners' World magazine free calendar, which is quite magnificent this year, as a gift for the shed. We also inspected our broad beans, onion sets and garlic, all of which are doing well. People think you don't do anything in an allotment over winter---I hope I've convinced you otherwise. We were very busy harvesting our three remaining parsnips, comparing our Wellington boots, and dunking our biscuits. We decided to leave the digging of the Victorian hot bed until next year...The garden, too, looks a picture of quiet contentedness. Most mornings now the pond is frozen over and I can see an abundance of bulbs poking through the wet earth. Another fun-packed year is coming to an end.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Magic Moments...

I'm feeling a bit delicate this morning. It was our end-of-term dinner last night. And no, it wasn't the drink (I'm TT). It was getting ready for the event. No-one, but no-one, truly understands what short, fat, well-endowed (since the HRT) women go through preparing to go out of an evening, so I'll try and let you know. After a luxurious bath and around an hour spent grouting my face with make-up, I managed, after a short tussle, to get into my M&S Magic Knickers. These made it almost impossible for me to move throughout my abdomen area. I knew then that the tights were going to prove a problem, and so they did. Even though I was perched on the end of the bed, I found I could not turn my feet easily into the toes and ended up with a twisted mess around my ankles, which I then had to sort out, before embarking on a long and highly tiring adventure trying to get each leg up to my thighs and waist. How is it that tights can suddenly turn backwards on you half way up? Anyway, the battle with the tights was nothing compared to the war I was about to have with my new pair of boots, which only two days previously had fitted perfectly well and easily.On the first assault, I discovered I could not get my feet into the boots. My heels were getting stuck on a hard bit on the inside of the boot heels. I hauled and hauled, puffed and panted, but it was all to no avail. Thinking that the problem might be that my feet were slightly swollen from the hot bath (and the Magic Knickers---well, it has to go somewhere, doesn't it?), I declared an Armistice, went downstairs and did a relaxation exercise. Then I thought, perhaps it would work better if I rolled the boots down when putting my feet in. I tried this...yes, we were getting closer...more pulling, pushing and now stamping. Suddenly, both feet sank into position. Oh joy! Then I found I could't roll the boots back up. I thought perhaps this won't matter, and went upstairs to put on the delightful skirt and top I'd decided on for the evening's festivities. I looked totally and utterly ridiculous. Another 15 minutes was spent unravelling the boots, millimetre by millimetre, trapped finger by trapped finger, up my calves. Voila, I was ready....Now I only had to put my make-up back on (I'll leave you to guess what my face looked like my this time) and I could go out...The rest of the evening went swimmingly, though a couple of people did ask why I had my head propped up on the cruet.

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Mistletoe and whine...

Lordy, where to start? This week we actually got to the allotment and found about 2 tons of manure parked not where we'd asked for it but in the space planned for the greenhouse. Oh well, it could have been worse. At least they left the shed standing...Obviously 2 tons of manure is too much even for a very ample Victorian hotbed, so we started working out what else we could do with it, with the result that our soft fruit bushes now have an ample duvet covering which should see them through the worst of winter. I then nearly killed myself trying to transplant 2 gooseberry bushes into the plot. Realising I was risking yet another back injury I asked the men (who were all tottering around the mower---they like it because it makes lots of noise), to kindly do the third one while I made the tea. It only took three of them...I got home to find all my Vincas (do you remember them?), and my Chinese lanterns had been delivered. Of course it's done nothing but pour with rain ever since, so I've had no chance to plant them. I continue to have trouble in hyperspace....I was informed this morning that I need to kiss 19 more people under the mistletoe before I can move on to the next level (evidently there's a whole heap of more interesting things you can do under mistletoe than just kiss people---the rest of the world knows about this, I don't). Well, I thought I'd just inform my friends (27!) of this, when I discovered that all my applications had shut down. Will be visiting the doctor next week to get more tablets...

Monday, 3 December 2007

You looking at me?

It looked as though it was going to be a very quiet week. Afterall, we didn't even make it to the allotment. Our leader still has back problems, and when we arrived at base camp we found that a large bring and buy sale was in progress. It was a tough choice. Horticultural or retail therapy? Retail therapy won hands down, of course. So we were soon all ferreting away in endless cardboard boxes finding those little gems we never thought we'd need. I walked off with a nesting box, an aromatherapy set and a VERY surprise gift for Husband. Then, on Saturday night, H and myself were just snuggling down on the sofa ready for a quiet night of TV viewing, when Roland Garros arrived bleeding profusely from his back paw. Our stairwell quickly took on the look of a Quentin Tarantino movie as we tried to catch the cat and clean his paw. We eventually got him on a towel on our bed. I pinned him down and H did the necessary work with the bandage (not easy for H as he tends to faint at the sight of blood). I managed to keep Roland G still for an hour with his paw upright and the bleeding stopped. Just as well, as, as soon as I let him go, he removed the bandage completely. Anyway, the next day Roland G was fine but H and myself were completely exhausted. I still feel wiped out this morning and barely had time to write this log as my Facebook activities are taking longer each day. I now have 23 friends! Today, however, I accidently deleted my Robert de Niro talking dog video which upset me a great deal. The whole system seemed a bit odd today. My jigging hamster seemed to set itself off, and then I ended up sending stuff to everyone which I thought I'd only sent to one person. Then I tried to apologise to everyone and the system went bananas and I found that everything I was doing was sent out twice. I had to stop, calm down and do a little light housework, I can tell you. There are days when I regret my ventures into hyperspace....