Nov 28, 2020: Chrimble Chrumble

It’s going to be a curious Christmas this year, because of the Covid-ery. On the one hand, it’s going to be fun watching to see how people embrace the relaxation of the rules on those five days that infectious disease is on holiday, because even an illness needs some time to itself. You know, the people who equate “relaxation of the guidelines” with “everything’s safe, you can do what you want”. As opposed to, yes you can mingle with people but for fuck’s sake, do it sensibly.

So there’s that.

There’s also the fact that, this year, unlike any other, I’m not in town at all in the run up to Christmas. Even when I was “resting” between jobs, I went into town in the run up to Christmas – very briefly – to mooch in a few shops and pick up some little bits and bobs. This year, not doing that. Sod it. Can’t be arsed. With lockdown 2.0 finishing on Tuesday, December is going to be a shitshow for people shopping, and I hate that at the best of times.

So I’ve done mine online. Or am doing it online. Or whatever.

I’ve ordered a lot of stuff from Amazon. Some of it’s presents. Some of it is stuff that we need at home. I know, I shouldn’t be ordering from Amazon because it’s evil etc etc etc but I have and you can all hate me for it later. At the moment, I hate myself for it.

Not because of the evil.

But because it’s a clusterfuck.

Stuff is coming all over the shop and, because reasons, individually (at least judging by my emails and notifications). Alexa won’t stop bloody pinging with notifications that a “shipment” is coming. Which is great because she keeps it on the down-low for Christmas time, but I haven’t got a fucking clue about what’s coming and where things are. There’s some stuff that I need for house things – bannister brackets and cat litter stuff. Some of that has come. I think the brackets are in a box on their own. But one thing of the cat litter stuff (which came up in a “frequently ordered together” recommendation) has come with something else entirely.

Yes, all the cat litter stuff might be ordered together, but it arrives as though it has been fired for a giant shotgun atop Amazon HQ.

And stuff’s come today that wasn’t coming until Monday when I ordered it.

It’s chaos. Chaos, I tell you.

I don’t like it.

And I can’t sort any of it while Carole’s about.

And I can’t work out where to put it given that we’re also decorating upstairs so stripping things out and moving things about. I can’t put stuff under the bed or in drawers because things are moving at frequent intervals (thanks, in part, to our lovely (possibly unnecessarily) wallpapered ceiling which is sometimes a doddle and other times an absolute twat to strip and you have to come at it from all sorts of angles.

Aaargh.

But still… it’s also going to be an interesting Christmas because I don’t have to think about work in and amongst it as well… the joys of a tier 3 regional restriction.

Which is another reason why I’m avoiding the shops – people who should be at work who suddenly find themselves with time to visit shops are the absolute worst.

Nov 27, 2020: A Piece Too Far

You know the problem with a 2000 piece jigsaw?

There’s too many bloody pieces. Two thousand of the little buggers, in fact.

Where the heck are you supposed to put them all. The jigsaw fills the table as it is, and if we put them in the middle of the jigsaw there’s nowhere to assemble the pieces in the actual jigsaw. But if we leave them all in the box it’s just chaos.

Carole’s started a freezer bag approach. There’s one bag with white pieces in and one with bits of Christmas tree in. So far. There’s also a collection area for bits of other tree and for tartan trousers. There was one for “anyone wearing blue” but that turned out, on closer inspection of the picture, to be almost everyone in existence.

There’s a lot going on.

And none of it is going on very quickly.

In fact, yesterday I think it took longer for us to get into the table and down to the jigsaw than we spent on doing the jigsaw before Carole got dejected at the lack of progess and we gave up. Not to mention we have to do it in Peppa-free moments, shutting the doors while she’s happily asleep on the bed upstairs so that we can get in some jigsaw action before she comes along and ruins it all. It’s all fun and games letting a cat trash a thousand pieces of puzzle, but having her wreck this one would make me cry. And I don’t want to cry.

Well, I do.

But not about a jigsaw.

I reckon, though, if we can work out a way to spread the pieces out – dot them across all the furniture or the floor or something – we’ll be able to get this together in record quick time.

Maybe.

Probably not.

It’ll still be in the table in January…

Nov 26, 2020: Cat Drawer

As part of on-going decorating plans and a general need to clean all the dust from the house, I moved a chest of drawers in the bedroom today.

I timed my trip upstairs beautifully. Peppa was sleeping on the top of her cat stand, happily dozing away and dreaming of mice or whatever bloody mischief she could get up to next. The perfect time to move furniture.

I went upstairs. I cleared the few things off the top.

I removed the drawers.

I looked down.

Peppa was inside the chest of drawers.

This bloody cat is a teleport specialist. She’s brilliant at it. Oh, I’ve seen her downstairs. Yet here she is on the windowsill upstairs. Or vice versa. There’s a “paff!” and she’s somewhere else. Like Nightcrawler from the X-Men or a Jumper from that film where they Jumped everwhere.

I removed her from the chest of drawers.

I dragged the chest of drawers round the room to the other side, where it is going to live temporarily. I marvelled at the dust underneath it and all the crap that had fallen down the back of it. I turned back to the chest of drawers in its new location, a drawer in hand to re-insert into the unit.

Oh, there’s a black and white cat in the chest of drawers again. Brilliant.

I put the drawer down. I took her out. I picked the drawer back up and put it in the unit.

I picked up another drawer…

You know where this is going.

I was planning on moving two sets of drawers and a strange thing drawer unit.

I did not do that.

The thin unit, which she would definitely be in, has about ten drawers. That’s at least six times I’d have to remove a cat. More if she figures out she could jump up and in to the drawers as well.

I don’t have the patience for that shit…

I’ll try again tomorrow.

Nov 25, 2020: All Of The Pieces

We’ve started the 2000 piece Christmas Jigsaw. Whether it will be finished by Christmas, though, remains to be seen.

It took us over an hour and a half to find and assemble the edge pieces and even then we’ve only done three sides because the bottom of it just doesn’t go together in any way, shape or form. Carole assembled it and has a section left over which should be somewhere in the middle of what she put together.

In short, it’s not going well.

Once we get going, I think it’ll be ok. There’s a lot of picture. It’s a very busy scene. There’s a lot of white, but there’s also a lot of other things happening within the white. So we might be alright.

Or, conversely, we’ve got a permanent resident of the gaming table. Which is why, of course, there’s that perspex sheet in there. Things can live under that in perpetuity if needs be. Which they might.

Have I mentioned it took us an hour and half to do the edges.

And there I was thinking we could tackle the 3000 piece one.

No.

Just no.

My arms were tired just from sorting through this one – our ritual of sorting edges from non-edges, and then going back through the pieces at least once more because we’ve failed miserably in that goal. Except this time it was worse. And Carole found a vital edge bit and, in her excitement, dropped it back into the box and we couldn’t find it for ages.

It’s not going well, in summary.

Still, another four weeks or so and mum’s here. And she’s really good at jigsaws, as we know from the Minion one she’s spent nearly a year on. Maybe she can help us finish it, or cheer us on or something. She sometimes can’t see the knobs/holes on all the sides of the pieces, so she’d bring something new to the table at the very least.

And we’ll be in some sort of Tiered lockdown then, so there’ll only be the jigsaw to do, despite Boris saying we can all go out and lick as many people as we want for five days over Christmas and Covid absolutely promises not to infect anyone.

We’re doomed.

In both the jigsaw, and as a society.

Nov 24, 2020: Waver

As if to re-enforce the point I made about Carole’s lackadaisical approach to Amazon deliveries, she text me today to say that her stuff was seven stops away when it was already sitting on the couch.

For months, now, living life in the new normal I have waved to every Amazon man, woman or robot (no robots, sadly) who has delivered something to the house. I have acknowledged their approach so that they don’t have to knock or hang about to see if someone answers and collects the delivery.

I wave, or I give a thumbs up. I get an acknowledgement back. We go about our business. I’ll probably still say cheers when I open the door, because they’re usually delivering to a neighbour or just getting back in the van and they normally sling a pleasantry back.

Today, the Amazon guy waved at me through the window.

It’s not supposed to work like that. I do the waving. I indicate that I have seen them coming. It’s not supposed to be them telling me they’re coming.

But, also, I think it’s pretty great that I have trained the delivery guys to look in the window for me.

But then it’s also quite troubling that we’ve had enough deliveries, and it’s not the same person each time, for them to know to wave through the window to catch my attention rather than do the knock and hang about stuff.

And it’s only going to get worse over the next couple of weeks, I suspect, as Christmas approaches and more and more things come to the door. Some of it, I might even know about!