Friday 25 October 2013

What The Neighbour Said

Today The Lounge is is coming from Musings Of The Misguided and the theme is neighbours - well I don't have too many stories about my neighbours although they, I'm sure, have MANY about me!  I had a little root around the blog though and I found this one - I'm very pleased to say that this neighbour seems to have moved on since this ...

"Get your arse over here, I'm in the mood for sex!"

I paused, said arse in the air, head buried in the weeds (that's NOT a euphemism btw, I was weeding my front area - also not a euphemism ;).

Slowly I raised my head and peered over the wall.

Almost directly opposite me is a row of houses that runs parallel to my street and I overlook their back gardens.

The second house in the street is split into two flats, the one at the top has a balcony with steps leading down to the garden.

There he was, on the balcony, wearing just a pair of faded, cut off jeans and a big smile.

Bear in mind that I've never met this neighbour, it's one of those places with a high turn over of tenants and a somewhat dubious reputation.

For a moment I considered the possibility that the sensible course of action might be to just say, oh, ok then - after all, he knows where I live!!!

Then he stuck his hand down the front of his shorts and scratched!!!

You think that was bad enough?  Yep, so did I ...

He then examined his fingernails (just what did he find down there???) and said "come on baby, come over, I know you're gagging for it".

You know what?  Enough!!!

I stood up, I swear I expanded at least 3 dress sizes.  I was just about to vault effortlessly clamber over the wall trying not to fall flat on my face (what with all my increased girth and everything) when he turned his back to me laughing saying, "yeah, I knew you couldn't resist".

Can you believe this?  I swear I couldn't make this stuff up!

I'd like at this point to say that I've never been so insulted in my life but I think it's probably true to say I almost certainly have. But sometimes, well, sometimes you just have to make a stand don't you?

I squared my shoulders, assumed my best 'dont mess with me mofo expression' and prepared to give him a piece of my mind.

Then I noticed something ....

Not only had he carried on talking with his back to me but, there was something in his ear .....

Oh right, hands free set ....

Yep, I KNEW that ...

Wednesday 23 October 2013

OCD - Occasional Cleaning Disorder

'Can people suddenly develop OCD out of the blue?' Miss Mac asked me the other day.

'I don't know' I replied, 'I guess so – why'?

'Well you're vacuuming the walls and you've just emptied your drawers to polish inside them ...' 

Hmmm …

The truth is that I do get a little compulsive when I'm stressed and it often manifests itself in a cleaning frenzy. I need an outlet for all the pent up frustration and, although I suspect that breaking crockery would be far more satisfactory I do try and channel it into something positive.

It doesn't always work though. I'm just as likely to attack a random piece of loose wallpaper and rip a huge strip from the wall or scrub a kitchen cupboard door so hard I take off a layer of paint or blast the render off the garden wall with the pressure washer (all things I have lived to regret in the past).

Vacuuming the walls actually seems pretty tame compared to some of the stuff I could do but I've no idea if it's normal – is it normal? I mean, is it one of those things that other people do all the time? Maybe you're like 'yeah, so what? - doesn't everyone do that in between removing the fluff from the grooves in the washing machine with a cotton bud and polishing the grout around the bath tiles with toothpaste'.

I really don't know, I always imagine that other people dust their light bulbs on a weekly basis and never forget to change the filter on the hob extractor fan (which I'm planning to do some day when I can work out how to remove the damned thing!). But that's not me!

I live with a certain level of domestic sluttery which means that my kitchen floor could probably do with a sweep and it's been a while since I last cleaned the wooden blinds in my bay window because frankly, I've usually got far better things to do.

One thing though that's guaranteed to see me reaching for the bleach is any contact with Ex Lax because (and please do excuse my turn of phrase) he's such a complete asshole and so fucking frustrating that it's a wonder I don't just drink the bloody bleach and have done with it!

Ex Lax rarely gets a mention on my blog because he's not worthy and I don't like to talk about him, or even think about him and, because of the old adage, 'if you can't say anything nice ….'

Well I can't so, rather than sound off and tell you why he is such an asshole, (which I could and I'm sure you would agree with me if I did) I am going to be the better man and say nothing.

Please excuse me – I have ceilings that require dusting and pointing to polish.

Friday 18 October 2013

Feeling Funny over at The Lounge

'Link up your funniest post' she said - 'Make me laugh' ...

God Robo - The pressure!!!  Don't you know I'm a self depreciating English girl and I'm not allowed to admit that I might find myself funny sometimes??

So, well, yeah, anyway I was going to link up 'F*ck, I've killed the cat' but I thought you might find a story a bout a dead hamster more amusing .....

Linking up with Robomum for The Lounge this week.

There's nothing worse than thinking the hamster's dead and then discovering that the hamster is indeed dead ...

Now I've been here once or twice before so when Miss Mac made the sad pronouncement I was ever so slightly sceptical.

I went upstairs and together we contemplated that fat little hamster for a while.

"Poke him Mum, see if he moves"

"No, YOU poke him, he's your hamster".

"You poke him"

"I'm not poking him!"

"Well, I'M not poking him"

"I'm a kid, you can't make a kid poke a dead hamster ..."

Bugger it, she had a point.

I poked him ...  He didn't move ...

I still wasn't convinced.  If I'd buried that bloody hamster EVERY time he was dead ...

"Let's just leave him for a bit and see what happens".

"Mum, Figgy is dead, all that's going to happen is he is going to carry on lying there being deader!"

In exasperation she picked him up and turned him over.


Poor Figgy remained curled up in a stiff little ball of fluff, his little hamster teeth grinning at me as though to say, "I told you I was dead". This time it seemed he wasn't messin' with me.

It was time for another hamster funeral ...

Unfortunately I'd broken my spade whilst ...  well, you don't really need to know how I broke it. Anyway, I had a quiet word with SD who promised to bring one round later and even offered dig the hole for me (although that may have been nore in the interests of keeping his spade intact).

We chose a spot in the garden under a bush and SD being careful not to dig up road kill (dead bird - another story ...) set to work whilst Miss Mac and I pondered on the best material for a hamster coffin.

I like to be a little inventive with such things so Rascal, (Miss Macs first dead hamster who was a ginger colour) is buried in an orange mobile phone box (geddit?? ).  Sir Frederick Fluff Balls was buried in an (empty) coco pops box (coco pops look a lot like hamster shit).

We rifled the recycling to see what we could use.  SD having finished digging the hole came to 'help'.  What about this he asked pulling out the cardboard inner from an empty kitchen roll.

"SD, I am not burying the fucking hamster in that, it'll look like a bloody Christmas cracker!!!"  Added to which Figgy was slightly larger than the cardboard tube and Im buggered if Im going to try to shove a stiff hamster up a hole that's too small (say NOTHING ok, this is a VERY serious matter!!).

Eventually we fashioned a box from part of a cardboard box with lots of sellotape, filled it with sawdust, laid poor Figgy in it and taped it up.  We sat for a moment, each thinking out different thoughts when that fucker Bear (our cat of little brain) jumped onto the table, skidded and sent poor Figgys coffin flying!  Lots of shouting scared the crap out of that bloody cat and he shot outside whilst I reverently picked Figgy up and put him gently back on the table.

"Mum. have you got him the right way up???"

Ummm, well actually I didn't have a clue, we may well have buried Figgy upside down but I assured Miss Mac that I did indeed have him the right way up and off we went to the garden to finally lay Figgy to rest.

You know what I said about the shouting scaring the crap out of Bear ...?

Well it seems hadn't. Well, not quite ALL of it anyway.

That bastard cat was busy excavating his bowels very loudly and very pungently in poor Figgys newly dug grave!

I will never forgive SD for not appreciating the solemnity of the occasion and laughing until he cried.

Miss Mac will never forgive either of us for not appreciating the solemnity of the occasion and laughing until we cried.

Figgy hopefully doest give a stuff that the three of us did not appreciate the solemnity of the occasion and laughed until we cried.

And Bear, well, I have decided that I shall have him creamated when his time comes and (in an act previously only reserved for ex lax) scatter his ashes in a cat litter tray so that he may be crapped on by a multitude of cats!

Monday 14 October 2013

Foul Play

I met Matt the Op for coffee one day last week – you remember Matt?

Yes you do!

I badoozled him way back – remember?


Ok, I'll refresh your memory – social experiment - went to the wrong place – chipped tooth – split lip – coffee everywhere – remember NOW??

Hmmm, well, if it's still not ringing any bells or perhaps you missed that post for whatever reason you can read it here if you like.

Anyway, Matt and I stayed in touch and, despite the less than auspicious start, we have remained friends and every now and then I get a message from him saying he's in town and do I want to meet up.

We arranged to meet a 11 o'clock and so I spent the morning doing a few things around the house and garden. I was busy picking the last of the green tomatoes (which are never going to ripen on the plant now) when I realised it was already 10.20 and I looked like crap.

I jumped in the shower, slapped on some make up, threw on some clean clothes and headed out of the door.

Matt and I always meet at the same place, (he says it saves him having to second guess where I might end up if he suggested somewhere different - honestly, you make one little mistake … ) but when I got there I found Matt looking forlornly at a sign in the window that said 'closed for refurbishment'.

We decided to try our luck around the corner at Mr Miles Tearooms. Mr Miles is rather posh and a favourite with ladies of a certain age who wear hats, they serve leaf tea with tiny silver strainers and it's decorated in the Art Deco style.

I can do posh!!

Yes I can – stop laughing …

As we waited to be seated (you can't just walk in and sit down in posh places y'know) Matt sniffed – I looked at him horrified – 'stoppit' I hissed – 'you don't sniff in Mr Miles!'

'What's that smell?' he muttered sniffing again – 'can't smell anything' I said, 'now can you please behave properly and stop distracting me – ay'm tryin' to mayntayne my aura' – See, I even have special posh voice and everything!

Matt continued to look perplexed as we were seated and kept glancing around suspiciously and then I caught a whiff of it – 'Christ, that smells like shit!' I said rather more loudly than I'd intended.

Several little old ladies fixed me with their beady eyes and I subsided.

Fortunately I was then distracted by cake and Matt and I chatted happily away for a while.

It was a lovely day, the sun was shining and there was a Autumnal nip in the air but, with the sun pouring in the window of the tea shop, it was warm and cosy inside. The smell Matt had noticed started to get stronger and we both began to look at the little old ladies suspiciously. Seriously, it was starting to put me off my lemon drizzle cake (eaten delicately with a fork) – even the waitress was looking a little wild eyed and seemed reluctant to approach the tables near us.

One of the ladies produced a lace edged hanky from her bag and held it to her nose and the gentle hum of conversation became a buzz.

What the bloody hell WAS that smell!!!

I couldn't stand it any longer and jumped up and opened the window nearest to us letting in a blast of cold air.

Making my way back to the table I noticed Matt looking at me with a horrified expression – 'What?' I said – 'It's either that or asphyxiation and if opening the window means sacrificing a couple of old ladies to the cold well, it's a sacrifice that I'm personally prepared to make!'

'It's not the cold' he said,'what the bloody hell is THAT' he muttered gesturing at my feet with his eyes.
I looked down …

Fuck, fuck, FUCK!!!

As I left the house I'd pulled on a pair of black boots – now I have TWO pairs of almost identical black boots, one old pair that I wear for walking the dog etc and one decent pair that I wear when I'm going out. In my haste I'd picked up the wrong pair ...

I'd last worn these boots the previous weekend when I went to feed my neighbours chickens as they were away. Attached to the sole of my left boot was a clump of straw welded on with chicken shit!

I still vigorously maintain that I can do posh ... just not very well … and maybe not on that particular day …

Tuesday 8 October 2013

Today Is A Gift (which is why they call it the present ;)

Linking up with Maxabella for The Rewind.

Just when Id reluctantly decided that Summer might have come to an end we had the most glorious weekend!

Although I'm not a winter person, there are elements of it that I enjoy. I love cold, crisp days and bundling up in warm clothes. I love cooking up huge stews and casseroles and leaving them to simmer all day in the slow cooker filling the house with mouthwatering smells. I love walking along deserted beaches with Gus and I love snuggling up under my duvet with my hot water bottle.

But I miss Summer, I miss the sun on my bare skin and the longer days and catching the last rays of sunshine in the garden or sitting in the stillness of the early morning watching the mist lift while I drink my cup of tea.

Technically it's not Winter just yet, it's Autumn and the leaves are only begging to turn but the nights are drawing in and there's a chill in the evening air. Soon we will be getting up to darkness and turning the lights on by 4pm.

But that's not yet ...

Last week we had some torrential downpours. The heavens opened and the rain fell so fast that the guttering along the top of my house couldn't cope and water spilled over hitting the lids of my recycling boxes with a noise like kettle drums flattening my tomato plants and causing the remaining green fruit I still hoped would ripen to swell and split.

But then, in it's last dying breath, the summer returned and it's still with us today. The sky is a soft powder blue with ribbons of fluffy white cloud and the sun, although weakened, warmed my shoulders as I sat in the garden this morning.

On Sunday SD and I went to Beer, a small town by the seaside where fishermen winch their boats high up on the beach above the tide line and stripy deckchairs are dotted along the pebbled shore.

We drank coffee and ate rich, dark fruit cake as we watched the fishermen unload their catch. We read our books in companionable silence. I reacquainted myself with a Gerald Durrell book of short stories 'Marrying Off Mother and other stories'.

I don't read enough these days. There was a time when each evening would find me curled up with a book, it's something I've always done having been brought up in a house overflowing with reading matter but somehow I've gradually forgotten how much pleasure there is in escaping between the pages.

It's no secret that Gerald Durrell is my favourite author. His magical way with words transports me to far off places filled with colour and heady scents. One day I must get around to replacing my lost copy of My Family and other Animals.

He returns briefly in this book to his Corfu childhood to find his brothers Leslie and Larry (as delightfully pompous as ever), his eternally romantic but muddled sister Margot, his long suffering mother, serene and dignified in the face of the trials devised by her offspring (in this case where they decide she should marry again and set about finding her a 'suitable' mate). He shares his picnic with a fragrant sow and prize truffler called Esmerelda in the Perigord, charms Magnolia Dwite-Henderson, an ageing belle in Memphis, stays with a hangman in Paraguay and dines with a gambling nun in Mote Carlo.

If I were half the writer Durrell was then I'd be so happy, if I'd led half the life he led I'd be happier still.

SD and I walked along the waters edge, our feet slipping and and sinking into the large pebbles that make up the beach at Beer as the sun slowly made its way around the horseshoe shaped bay. We watched as two elderly ladies braved the surf, warmer now than at any other time of the year but still cold enough to take your breath away. We walked to the far end of the bay where, as the tide retreats, there are rock pools teeming with life. I'm fascinated by rock pools in much the same way Durrell was as a child, I can sit and watch the tiny creatures trapped in them go about their business for hours but SD is less patient than me and so we headed away from the beach to explore the town.

A Sunday afternoon in October isn't the ideal time to visit a seaside town. Many of the shops have closed for winter and the few remaining ones have run down their stock in preparation for restocking next year but Beer is a pretty place to wander around, there is a stream that runs very fast right through its main street directed by a man made leat along and under the road until it finally rushes down the side of the hill to join the sea. The tiny front gardens were still full of flowers and people sat enjoying the unexpected return of summer on benches and deckchairs.

Days like this are a gift and I store them up to see me through the darkness and cold of winter.