Tuesday 6 January 2015

Helpful (Oh, yes I AM!)

I think my cat's confused.  I guess I shouldn't be surprised seeing as she isn't officially my cat nor does she officially live here. (obviously if she WERE my cat and she DID live here she would be perfectly well balanced just like the rest of us!).

Squishy (the cat with no name because we are NOT keeping her) thinks she's a dog.  She's driving me nuts at the moment constantly wanting to play fetch.

She's got a little pink mouse and she wants me to throw it for her, when I do she runs after it and brings it back for me to throw again.  If I don't throw it she tosses it off the sofa herself and jumps down to get it and shouts at me lots!

I've just been on my hands and knees to retrieve it from under the sofa to shut her up and there seems to be roughly 20 baubles from the Christmas tree under there too which probably means that I'm going to have to pull the sofas out again to get them (and I DID pull them out just before Christmas to vacuum under them so I am not amused at this extra unwarranted housework she is creating!).

I've spent quite a bit of the past few days on my knees with my bum in the air to be honest and I'm not sure how much more they can take.

On Sunday I was helping SD, you KNOW how helpful and useful I like to be (if you are unclear you can read all about it in this post WTF Are You DOING Sarah).  We were moving the rear seats in the new van forward to give us enough space to put a deck in the back for sleeping in when we go away so SD was under the van and I was in the back (on my hands and knees with my bum in the air) as we tried to line the seat bolts up with the new holes in the floor.

I was quite happy, ratchet spanner and lump hammer in hand, 80's show on the radio, a little bit of The Clash and then we struck gold with Dead Or Alive - You Spin Me Right Round.  I was like a pig in muck, bum wiggling from side to side as I randomly ratcheted (which IS a verb ...) those screws in time to the music.  The other really good thing was that I couldn't hear a word SD was saying to me, it was just me and the music with undertones of muffled shouting and the occasional thumping from under the van.

As ever, SD was VERY impressed with my helpfulness, so much so that after about half an hour he said I'd really EARNED my break and should go inside and let him finish up by himself and it only took him another hour and a half so I undoubtedly saved him LOADS of time!

Yesterday I was helping AGAIN.

I KNOW, I'm like a very tall girl guide (except I refuse to wear yellow ...).

D my neighbour requested my help de-Christmassing.  It's all a little too much for him and he hasn't been well the last year but he still puts on the best Christmas display that people come from all over town to look at.  Obviously I didn't get a photo of his tree because I'm crap like that and the only one I can find on his FB is also pretty crap but here it is anyway:

Now you can't really tell from this photo but this tree is a MONSTER!!!

It's 8ft tall and it's got over a 1000 ornaments on it collected from over 60 years and all over the world, many are glass and very fragile.  It also had 5 sets of bloody light on it and lets not even TALK about the window decorations!!!

It looks stunning when it's done and it takes a full day to decorate.

Anyway, between us we stripped that MoFo in a couple of hours and carefully wrapped all the decorations ready for next year.


This tree came from a hotel originally and it doesn't come apart in sections to pack away because that would be too easy ...

D went off to get the stepladder ...

We decided that despite being a good 25 years older than me and slightly infirm that it was probably best if D went up the ladder bearing in mind my tendency to whimper like a stuck kitten and cling to the sides on anything higher than the second rung.

Having selected the first bit of 40 year old string traditionally used to tie the tree up D went up the ladder.

'Throw it round to me and I'll catch it and pass it around to you to tie' I said.

He threw it, it hooked up, he pulled it wobbling the ladder in a very worrying way.  He chucked it again and I caught it.

'D, why is the string WET!!!'

'I needed both hands to climb the ladder so I had the string in my mouth ....'


We repeated this process a couple of times, did I mention that the string was 40 years old?  Did I say that it was all knotted from 40 years of use?  Did I happen to tell you that this string was very thin (and cuts into your hands) and wasn't up to the job of taming that bloody monster tree even when it was new??

D also managed to use up all the long bits of string at the top which meant that by the time we were half way down the pieces left weren't long enough to go around it.

Eventually I suggested that maybe we should use some NEW string ...

After much head scratching, fumbling around in drawers and muttering I suggested that I should go home and get my garden string from the shed which (thanks to SD being a super borganiser - he really is, read this!) was on the shelf with the gardening tools.

I was also busting for the loo and I'm a little weird about using other peoples ...  So off I trotted.

String in hand and bladder relieved I returned triumphantly only to find that D had found his own string while I was gone.

Eventually we got that beast under control and the next step was to wrap it in a fitted sheet to keep the dust off before it was stored in the attic.

I laid the sheet out on the floor, we carefully lowered the tree on to it and wrapped the sheet around.

Now all we had to do was tie it in place.

D lifted the top of the tree a few inches while I attempted to lasso the bloody thing - bear in mind that it was really heavy and about 3ft wide.  The first couple of ties were fairly straight forward and I worked my way up the tree.

By the middle section I was straddling the tree while attempting to throw the string under it and catch it the other side, it wasn't going well ...

My foot slipped ...

I lost my balance ...

I ended up flat on my face, legs splayed, hugging that 8ft bastard which despite the layer of sheet was blood prickly while D just looked at me wondering how and if he should offer some assistance.

Did I mention that I was in full view of the uncurtained window that looked directly out on to the street?

There was a tap on the window.

Painfully I turned my head to see R (he of the mismatched crocs and Baaarb (the mysterious mumbler) peering in the window in slack jawed amazement at me apparently  humping a large clump of artificial foliage as D watched on clutching a ball of string ...

So far I'd say 2015 is pretty much going to plan and, as I've seen so many people choose a word that they wish to define the coming year then I have chosen HELPFUL as mine.

It seems to be working for me so far don't you think ... ?


Emma Kate at Paint and Style said...

Haha! Your helpfulness would put many a girl guide to shame. Your neighbours tree sounds amazing. I'd love to come and look at his old baubles. There, that offer will make him feel better surely? Your helpfulness is rubbing off on me already. xxx

joeh said...

If I remember most of your posts, it sounds a lot like 2014.

Unknown said...

Sounds like you are a jolly good helper too! Definitely someone to have around in dire straits...but be careful, sounds like helping is just plain dangerous!

Sarah said...

D would be most excited at the thought of you looking at his baubles Emma - many of them are now hung up in a glass fronted cupboard, I'll see if I can get some pics for you, the glass ones are mainly from Germany and they are stunning! xx

You know, you're right Joe, I WAS exceedingly helpful last year too wasn't I ...

Helping can be very hazardous Holly but never let it be said that I don't throw myself into it anyway :-)

AGuidingLife said...

I bet SD was gutted you'd spent all that effort helping someone else when it could so easily been him on the receiving end of it, no, as you were, I feel his relief from here (ps Guides wear blue, had you have been a good guide you would have had that tree tied up in seconds, the best S&M mistresses started in the Guides you know ;) )

Sarah said...

I think SD is actually quite proud of my community spirit - he's always urging me to 'go and help someone else ffs' ... ;-) - I'm a rubbish guide really aren't I? Always wearing the wrong thing ... I expect I'd be pretty rubbish at S&M too ...