Dec 14, 2019: Trousers

There’s nothing I love more than a knock on the door when I’m basically in my pants and socks getting ready to go to work. Well, actually, there is. There’s a knock on the door when I’ve literally just got up and am bereft of clothing and in a slightly “I’ve just got up” state of non-readiness, I love that more.

This morning it was the pants and socks knock. Which, I will admit, confused me.

We weren’t expecting anything, to the best of my knowledge. I know there will be a Board Game Crate in the next week but they haven’t been sent out yet, so it was unlikely to be that. What the hell was it?

Here’s the rub. It’s impossible to put on trousers if you’re in a rush. It’s as if the legs know you’re in a rush and need to be in them as soon as possible and they do everything in their power to close up, twist around and generally resist the entrance of a foot and subsequent leg.

All the time you’re hopping about trying to be less naked, the knocking continues and you’re shouting “Hold on!” while also muttering under your breath about your inability to put on trousers but also the impatience of the person at the door.

And when you get to the door you find it’s a delivery man who is so used to coming to your house he’s automatically knocked on the door when it’s actually for two doors down. Which is better, in a way, that the annoying door-to-door people who knock and knock as if it’s the most important thing and then go next door because you didn’t answer quickly enough but then run back as soon as they hear a door open. I hate those people.

So I basically fought my way into trousers for a neighbour’s parcel. That shouldn’t even have come to us in the first place.

He buggered off down the road to deliver it. Then he came back because she wasn’t in and we ended up taking it anyway. But then his machine didn’t work properly, and I really needed to get ready and go to work and…

And then, to cap it all off, Mrs Next Door who is almost never in when she has her own parcels delivered sticks her head out because she heard knocking and was very put out that it wasn’t for her or wasn’t being left with her.

She could have taken it, if it had spared me the trouser tussle.



Dec 13, 2019: Ugh

This blog was, originally, going to be filled with incredulity and disbelief about the result of the election. Mind-boggling incomprehension of how people could vote for the Torys despite the fact that their policies include the erosion of human rights and tax breaks for the rich (and fuck all for the poor), or the fact that they’ve spoken about privatising the NHS on video. Or how we say, as a country, and wondered how America voted in Donald Trump and have more or less done the same thing with, if possible, someone even less likely to make coherent speeches. And a man who hid in a fridge to avoid interviews about actual things that actually mattered.

It’s clear that, essentially, people voted for Brexit. Not because of any Remain or Leave feelings but just because it’s dragged on for so bloody long. That’s what I’ve picked up from my, now very quiet, Facebook feed where everyone banging on about it has been removed to a place where they can shout into the void and I don’t have to scroll past it all. We’re still friends, it’s just you’re all muted.

It’s all done. It’s shit. But we have to watch out for all the other bollocks that’s happening and fight back if needs be.

It was going to be about all that, but then I worked a Friday night in December.

Or Friday evening, I should say. I was done by seven.

I saw a woman being arrested – for her own safety rather than anything criminal – because she was insanely drunk and a danger to herself and others. I saw a woman reacting to the fact – without knowing the details – with outrage at the fact that a van came to take her away but that’s what happens if you start getting bolshy and telling the police to fuck off repeatedly.

And then I saw a woman walking through Sainsbury’s singing about ejaculating.

And then guess which bus she caught?

I mean, obviously it was going to be mine, wasn’t it?

She wasn’t with us long – as in she got off, not died – but she did manage to drop the C-bomnb a few times. Including once in relation to the police arresting the other woman, in which she loudly proclaimed she would rather burn it off that let the police anywhere near her.

All I know is it wasn’t like that in town last Friday night, I blame the government.

Dec 12, 2019: Lurgy

Thursday night wasn’t games night this week, again.

Despite us having a huge increase in the number of games in the house – thanks, in part, to a shipment of Exit: The Game escape room games at work, we’ve spent part of the evening hunched over a Christmas jigsaw, with Carole full of cold and alternating between trying to just bash pieces together and saying, “I have a feeling that this piece will go somewhere…”

And then just reminding me that she’s very ill.

The jigsaw we’re doing at the moment is one of those that is without a picture. It’s a Wasgij. which is jigsaw backwards and basically asks you to construct an image that the people, or things, in the box art are looking at. Or, in some of them, what something will look like in a different time period.

Ours appears to be people of the world delivering presents to Santa and his elves.

We have a lot of faces in a box. Which sounds more sinister than it possibly should do, but Carole has harvested every piece of a face she has come across and popped it in the lid. So we just have lots and lots of eyes staring at us. And lots of happy mouths. But no idea where they go.

I have to say though, this is my favourite of the jigsaws we’ve done to date as it’s got a bit of colour and life to it. It’s a fun picture (presumably) and everything’s bright and cheery. Which makes a change to that Witch’s Kitchen which was mainly grey and green.

I’m slightly worried about how much we’re looking forward to doing the jigsaw, mind. Not that Carole’s up for it much as she’s ill. In case I haven’t mentioned it, or she’s not told everyone, she is ill. She’s ill. My mum, probably, has given her flu. So she’s ill, and she’s grumpy and sometimes you just have to sit with a lemsip and bang bits of a jigsaw together. Which is what she’s doing.

But we can’t do it for too long because she then makes pathetic noises and just sort of shuts down. Even a jigsaw is too high octane for her in her fragile, disease-ridden state.

And, obviously, I don’t want to spend too much time with her anyway, because it’s taken about a week to go from mum to her, and if it takes a week to go from her to me that’s slap bang in the Christmas run up and bollocks to that. If I get ill I’m taking the presents back from under the tree.

Although I do sort of want to add to them because I watched a video about mathematical wrapping and need to find things of different shapes to wrap in mathematically pleasing ways. Everyone’s getting a Toblerone because they seem to be particularly pleasing…

But no-one’s getting ill.

Not me.

No siree.




Dec 11, 2019: Dentist

Holy crap.

They didn’t cancel – much as I may have wanted them to. I have actually been to the dentist and seen a dentist and paid for dental treatment and it’s some sort of miracle.

I don’t mind the dentist, but I also hate the dentist. We used to, when I was a child, have a dentist who was nice and fun and didn’t touch you when you were under anaesthetic. And he used to keep the bits for his dental drill in a biscuit tin, and one time it when my dad was mid-filling and he had to hold the tin while the dentist rootled about for the parts he needed.

Then I’ve had about nine thousand dentists since then.

And the one I have now I like. She’s good. She can do a painless filling. She can do a painless extraction or two.

But fuck me if she isn’t an absolute demon with the scale and polish thing.

Holy crap, I thought I was going to die.

So she looks in my mouth for approximately three seconds and tells me everything looks good but I need to have a clean. Which is fine. Pretty standard. I tend to obstruct the toothbrush, particularly on my lower front teeth, with my overly muscular bottom lip.

So they need cleaning. #

While I was in reception of this swanky new surgery, there was a video playing about how gentle the cleaning process is, using a mixture of air and unicorn farts to clean your teeth. Or something like that. I might have made it up.

My dentist uses evil in her cleaning device. And then sharpens the evil so it’s much pointier.

I was bleeding so much.

“I’ve noticed your gums are bleeding a little…”

Are they? Is that because you’ve just stuck 10000 needles into them? You evil, evil woman.

Still that’s all done now for six months. Or twelve months, depending on cancellations…

Dec 10, 2019: Door

I’d love to find the person who put the doors in our house.

For a number of reasons – like why the top of some of them are at jaunty angles, or have a strip stuck on to try and rectify the jaunty angles. Or why some of them had wood nailed over the top of the actual doors as if the doors themselves were too racy to be seen.

Or, with the last one that we’re dealing with, why the outside edge of the door is fine and dandy, but the top and bottom panels (and associated dividing uprights) have a horrible varnish underneath the paint which is an absolute tit to get off, and fills the house with smoke.

Because it is, and it does.

I was on an absolute roll today, stripping our bedroom door back to the bare wood so we could sand it and paint it and get it back on before Christmas because it’s really exciting if you work to a deadline.

And yet here I am faced with sticky varnish Armageddon. I stripped an entire side of the door in the time it’s taken me to get three of the panels of the other side done. And I probably breathed in a lot less fumes.

But that’s been a running theme with this house. Any paintwork you strip can have one of two outcomes. It will either come off really easily and be a doddle and everything will be fine. Or they’ll be a varnish underneath which is sticky and horrible and refuses to leave the end of your scraper.

The stuff on the door isn’t quite that bad, but it doesn’t shift particularly cleanly, leaving behind some sort of blue undercoat which comes off if I go over the door again. But then I’m effectively stripping it twice and the first time’s not exactly a bundle of laughs. And if you don’t remove the blue then everything is as rough as a badger’s arsehole.

Which is not want you want because you’re just making more work for yourself in the sanding process.

There’s a lot to be said for speaking up and being a lot more organised about the doors when your father was alive and had offered to hang new ones for us. A lot. When people say things about missed opportunities, all I think about is me stripping the paint, and varnish, off the various doors in the house and cursing the day we didn’t take my dad up on it all because we weren’t quite ready.

Still, sense of accomplishment, isn’t it? When it’s all done.

Well, yeah. But equally, bollocks to that.

I still have some to do. The house still smells of it, and I had all the windows open this afternoon and it was blowing a gale.

Damn you, missed opportunity.

Carpe Door-em.