Wednesday 16 December 2015

Mumbling And Rambling Mostly To Be Honest With You ...

Remember I told you that at the last meeting we had agreed to meet the following Friday at 10am to clear the leaves from one of the paths alongside the park?

Well, it's a long time between Wednesday and Friday.  Almost as long as a month ago last Wednesday which, if you remember, was the date given by our noble secretary for the previous meeting.

Anyway, I forgot ...

At 10:03am I was still faffing about in my PJ's one eye on the countdown of an item I was attempting to secure for Miss Mac for Christmas and which, when there were precisely 17 seconds to go, I intended to swoop in with my bid and confound the competition and one eye on the band of marauding squittens who were intent on knocking all the baubles off the bottom of the Christmas tree.

Did I tell you we had squittens??

Probably not.  It's slightly embarrassing to admit that we missed our opportunity to get squishy (the cat who wasn't staying and so was never really given a name) 'fixed' before she managed to get up the duff again (but this WILL be her last litter!!).  Anyway, squishy had 4 beautiful kittens (kittens of squishy = squittens) and they are currently trashing my house and shredding my wallpaper.

So, backtracking ...

10:03 my phone rang ...

'Mumble, mumble, mumble, leaves ... dumpy sack ... mumble ... fecking bikes ... mumble ...'

'Noble secretary, mumble, mumble, fecker, nowhere!  Mumble, feck the feckers ...'

'I'm just on my way' I responded politely sniffing my armpits and deciding that I probably could get away without having a shower because frankly, after 3 minutes of shovelling leaves on his own Baarb probably wasn't any fresher than I was and I leapt into action.

4 1/2 minutes later after a quick spritz of body spray I was pulling on a pair of stout boots, grabbing my bike and out of the door.

I raced down the road like a mad haired harpy and hit the cycle path through the park like there was a yellow jersey on offer at the end of it.

I shot past Sue who was apparently practising her topiary skills with a pair of nail scissors on the 40ft hedge that runs the length of the school.  Fortunately she was so intent on her work that she failed to notice me as I scorched past leaving a vortex of fallen leaves in my wake.

I screeched to a halt at the end of the path and composed myself before nonchalantly strolling down the path to Baarb only 17 minutes late.

'Forgot did you'  he said looking at me sternly.

'Of COURSE not!' I replied indignantly.  'I was just running a little late ...'

'Fecker hasn't turned up' grumble Baarb referring to our noble secretary.

'I expect he's forgotten' (unlike ME) I said sanctimoniously.

'I passed Sue by the school' I told Baarb and a look of alarm crossed his face.

'You didn't tell her I was here!!!'

'No' I assured him, 'I just cycled past with my head down'.

Baarb looked relieved.

'Drag that dumpy bag of leaves up here' he told me.

I looked at him ...

'I'm not sure dumpy bag dragging is my thing what with my back ...' I began but he fixed me with a steely stare.

'I'm 76' he said 'and if I can fill the fecking dumpy bag with leaves YOU can bloody well drag it up here!'

I went down and dragged the dumpy bag up to the point where Baarb and our noble secretary had, several days before, fashioned a holding pen on the other side of the fence in the rough ground for the fallen leaves and between us Baarb and I heaved the half tonne of soggy leaves over the fence and poured them in.

I stood back and wiped the sweat from my brow as our noble secretary appeared around the corner.

'I've just passed Sue by the school' he said.

Baarb and I looked at each other in alarm.

'You didn't tell her we were here???'

'No, no, no, no, no YES' he said.  'I told her were weren't doing the hedge and the council would do that and that she should come down here and help us'

'Fecker' mumbled Baarb with some feeling.

'But she didn't listen to me' he went on looking a little surprised although I'm not sure why because hardly anyone ever DOES listen to him and, to be honest, those of us who do haven't got a clue what he's on about most of the time anyway!

'So she's still there' I asked cautiously.

'No, no, no, no, no' and then, as my heart started to sink, 'YES!'

'She's brought coffee' he said sadly 'and she says we have to go and drink it when we finish here ...'

He handed me a shovel.

'Shovel up those leaves and put them in the dumpy bag'.

'The thing is ... well ... my back ...'

He looked at me ...

'I'M 71' he began and I sadly took the shovel and trailed down the path.

After an hour of REALLY hard graft we chucked the last of the leaves over the fence and Baarb made his escape down the path in the opposite direction of the school.

Our noble secretary and I made our way in the other direction chatting about this and that (or something or other - I have no idea what) when a piercing noise rent the air not once, not twice but THREE times!

I looked around for the source but there was no football match in progress and no ref blowing his whistle.

We walked on and again there was a loud PWEEEEE, PWEEEE, PWEEEEEEEE

'COFFEE' shouted Sue a little pink in the face from her exertions the whistle now hanging silently from the string around her neck.


'No, no, no, no, no, NO' said our noble secretary, 'I've got a meeting at the cricket club in 10 minutes, no time ... (first I'D heard of that!).

'Nonsense - you WILL drink this coffee!'

'I'm not really a big coffee ...'  She glared at me.

'I'M 62 ...'

I held out my hand for the cup of bitter brew ...

'You're in BIG trouble with Jane' she said with some satisfaction.

Our noble secretary looked resigned.

'I'm ALWAYS in trouble' he said.

Sue didn't elaborate so I'm still none the wiser as to why he was in big trouble.


I proffered my cup - 'I'm not really much of a coffee ...'

'I want THAT cup ...'

'Thank you by the way' she suddenly said to me.  'I don't know what I would have done if you hadn't stepped in and helped - I was against the wire you know - right up against the wire I tell you!!! - I shall be eternally grateful to you'.

I have absolutely NO idea WHAT she was talking about but I smiled graciously and told her it had been no trouble at all (which obviously it hadn't been because I hadn't done anything).

I threw the last of the coffee down my throat, took the bag of sticks that Sue had inexplicably given me and made my way home where you will be pleased to hear I did eventually take a shower.

Tuesday 15 December 2015

More Than A Little Bit Cross!

I was really surprised a couple of weeks ago to receive a letter from my mortgage provider thanking me for making a capital payment.

Much as I'd love to be able to pay lump sums off my mortgage I can't.  I DO pay a little extra each month but it's really only a token amount and won't reduce the term of my mortgage significantly.

Anyway, I phoned them and was told that the letter had been sent in error and my mortgage account was exactly as it should be, ie up to date.

A few days ago I recieved another letter telling me there was an outstanding amount on my account that may be an oversight on my behalf and that I needed to send a payment to bring it up to date.

So I phoned them again ...

After being on hold for half an hour I was told that they had made a banking error and my monthly payment had been applied as a capital payment.


I was assured this error would be rectified immediately and that I would recieve no further communication from them other than conformation that they had done what they said they would do.

Today another letter dropped on the mat.  This time from their secure lending department thanking me for my recent enquiry regarding the arrears on my account and asking me to address them immediately!

I was slightly frustrated by this point having already phoned them twice but, yet again, I picked up the phone.

Again they assured me that it was a banking error, again they admit it's their fault, again they acknowledge that they can see I HAVE made a payment.

But this time they tell me that it has been referred to their credit department as a non payment.

Basically this means that there is a big black mark against my credit rating.

They assure me that once they have resolved the problem and moved my money to the correct place then they will removed this black mark from their system but, unfortunatley this system is shared by credit agencies ...

So, because of their mistake which they freely admit.  Despite not only being up to date with my mortgage but also being in credit with over payments each month I may now have a poor credit rating unless I pay a credit agency to run a check and (if this information IS on my file) I will have to arrange to have it removed!

Actually, scrub the title of this post.

I'm bloody FUMING!!!

Thursday 3 December 2015

Slightly More Miffed Than Mad

You know when you put your all into a post and then NO ONE reads it?

Well, if they do, then no one, not ONE single person comment, and you think ...

 Phffft! (or something pertaining to something that looks very much like that word is spelt ...)

I bloody do because it happened to me last week with this post! (until  YAY Mike very kindly stopped by to leave a comment)


What else did I expect posting at Thanksgiving?  People have turkeys to baste and pumpkins to pie.  It's like writing a post on a Saturday and expecting people to give up their weekend to read it or something.  

It ain't going to happen!

Or, you might just say, get over yourself, it happens, move on!

So anyway, I've learned my lesson and I shall continue with my story which, if you want to read the first part now that Thanksgiving is over might (but probably won't) make more sense.

So, when I left you I was under the table at the Pavilion with Baarb and our esteemed leader on the pretence of retrieving Mikes cup which he had dropped when Sue had startled him by banging on the table but in reality we were sending each other agonised looks that said:


Also, while we were down there we noted that Sue was right, we did indeed have a problem with snails!

We reappeared to discover that the meeting had moved on.

Next on the agenda was new play equipment for the park.

Historically we do not get excited at this prospect as numerous promises from the Council for new equipment bought from the 106 money (money paid by developers to the council to reduce the impact of development on local areas and to be used towards community and social projects) have, over the past 4/5 years come to nothing.


Baarb, our esteemed leader and myself had had a meeting with the council that very afternoon and we had no only been assured that THIS time money had been allocated for our park but that they had also earmarked some play equipment specifically for us AND the money was ready to begin the project and all it needed was our say so!

So we said so!

We declined their offer to leave the play equipment catalogue with us bearing in mind that it was as thick as the extended issue of War and peace and if we DID take it to the meeting then it may well be another 3/4 years before we all agreed what to have.

My mistake was in not realising that we should have put the blame firmly on the Council for the lack of said catalogue and fessing up that we had just said yes to their suggestions ...

Colin was NOT happy!

I know this because Colin said:

'I am NOT happy!'

And he looked at me very sternly as though I had made some unilateral decision to withhold the catalogue from him on top of deliberately staying away from the Bingo and therefore not being there to rescue Joy from the loo and endangering his chances of winning a chicken dinner.

BANG!!! Went Sue's hands yet again on the table.

'YES!!! - we must say YES without delay!!'  She shouted (but this time all cups were fortunately firmly on the table).

'No, no, no, no, YES' replied our noble secretary - 'I believe we already have said yes'.

'The pebble is at number 4' went on Sue - 'on the mantelpiece next to the gold carriage clock.  I saw Jane put it their with my own eyes.  You MUST FIND IT!!!'

Now I know for a fact that it's NOT at number 4 on the mantelpiece not only because our esteemed leader told me he'd put it in the bin but because our noble secretary lives 6 door down from me and all of the houses on our side of the road are odd numbers.  In addition to which, his wife is NOT called Jane ...

To be honest, even if it HAD been in our noble secretaries house I very much doubt that someone who owns 4 blue right Crocs and only 1 left black one, who can never find his keys, wallet, phone or often his dog.  Who gives the time of the next meeting as a month ago last Wednesday week and who starts a meeting by reading the minutes of a meeting we had 6 months ago would EVER be able to find it so I'm afraid that we HAVE decided to throw him under the bus with this one and let him take the flack for the missing stolen pebble.

We moved on to maintenance in the park and it was agreed that we would meet in 2 days time at 10am to clear the footpath running between the park and the duel carriageway of the leaves that had fallen from the trees and were making the path almost impassable.

Well, all of us except for our esteemed leader who announced that he had an appointment at the dentist that morning.

I was slightly surprised to hear this given that he doesn't have a tooth he can truly call his own in his entire head but it transpired that his false teeth had somehow shot involuntarily out of his mouth while he was standing innocently at the kitchen sink the day before and had skidded across the kitchen before hitting the cat's litter tray and breaking in half.

After agreeing that we couldn't agree a time for the next meeting we packed up and shuffled home to catch the next episode of I'm A Celebrity.