Thursday, 24 February 2011

Things I wish I had not done

I do not wish that I had decided not to visit the charity shop yesterday, as I found 6 quite groovy side plates for £1.40 - score!

I do however wish that I had not decided that I could do with some exercise and that I should therefore get the bus home which leaves me about a mile or so to walk back to the house from the stop.

I do wish I hadn't worn boots with heels, resulting in very sore feet after the aforementioned walk.

I do wish I had not been so keen to get out of those damn boots that I pulled them off in the kitchen before I started to make myself some lunch.

I do wish I hadn't forgotten to take them upstairs when I went up to change. Or on any of the many later occasions when I left the kitchen to go upstairs (shifting laundry, chasing boys into showers etc).

In short, I wish I hadn't left my boots lying on the kitchen floor all afternoon and evening. With the cat. Who was behaving in a suspicious and jumpy manner.

Because then I would not have had to spend the five minutes before bedtime last night emptying a terrified (and surprisingly large) mouse out of my boot into the back garden.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Nearly there....

Back from our longest stint yet at The Corbies - 4 whole days and nights. The cottage is nearly finished now - we have carpets, furniture and even beds. No plates and pots to speak of yet, but that's the next thing on the list. When I have more time, I will regale you with tales of how we got a couch that measures a minimum of 30" in each direction through several doorways that measure only 28" wide. (It involved my sister-in-law having to crawl into the house UNDER the couch as three of us held it at an interesting angle). I tell you, if you ever want to move large furniture into an awkwardly small cottage, let me know and I'll ask SIL to lend you her partner. The man is a spatial reasoning genius.

Anyway, more updates and some photos soon. Promise.

PS Found a deep shiny purple toaster in the Argos catalogue. Am seriously tempted.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

New stuff!

Having bought new beds for at least some rooms of the cottage, Husband and Sister-In-Law surpassed themselves by going on to buy a groovy wee dishwasher (Husband hates washing dishes and I am not complaining). It's a fantastic bargain, delivery is so cheap as to be virtually free and there is a perfect little corner of the kitchen where it will fit.

Did I mention it's also bright yellow? I mean BRIGHT YELLLOW!!!!!! We may not win any interior design awards, but no-one will be able to accuse us of being dull.

Now we just need to find a luminous pink toaster.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

We have carpets!

Another trip down to the Corbies this weekend, mainly to check if the carpet fitter had been. He had and the downstairs of the cottage is now looking distinctly habitable. We hoovered, dusted and did a little repair work on the paint finish in the living room where it had gone a bit "odd" over the new plaster.

We also did a LOT of measuring as we are now at the stage of being able to move actual furniture into the house - only 5 months or so after we got the keys - and wanted to do a quick check that the various bits and pieces we want to bring down would actually fit! A large van has been booked for next Friday, beds have been both sourced and purchased and a sofa excavated from the depths of my sister-in-law's garage. My father has kindly agreed to drive the van for us, which is helpful as none of the rest of us felt capable of doing so. Dad used to work in container shipping and in his time has driven everything from brand new Rolls Royces destined for Arab princes to straddle carriers used for picking up and shifting entire cargo containers. A Luton van should hold no fears for him. He has agreed to be paid in bacon butties and hero-worship from his grandsons.

So hopefully by Friday night we will not only have proper beds to sleep in, but also proper chairs to sit on. Next task: acquiring plates, pots, pans and other kitchen gubbins.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

In which I feel my age. And then some.

I have a love/hate relationship with mobile phones. I love being in touch with those I want to be in touch with and the convenience of them (and amusing myself by playing Texas Hold 'Em on the bus in the days before My Baby arrived). On the other hand, I kind of hate mobile phones themselves. And the whole mysterious sub-culture surrounding them.

My mobile phone recently began to play up in an exceedingly annoying fashion (not sure what non-annoying playing up would be, mind you). When it needed charging, I would dutifully plug it in and it would ignore the charger. Simply refuse to acknowledge its presence. At first, I could coax it a little, bring it round by wiggling the plug a bit. Then that stopped working and getting power into the thing was a much more hit-and-miss affair. Sometimes it would taunt me by obediently starting to charge the minute I plugged in, only to change its mind the moment I did something it disapproved of. Like putting it down on the worktop and walking away. I would come back hours later to find a smugly still-uncharged phone whistling nonchalantly in the kitchen. (I might have imagined the whistling. I did not imagine the smug.)

I did eventually go into the mobile phone shop for advice, although it took me a while as I HATE those places. I feel several decades too old to be taken seriously and I genuinely do not understand about 60% of what is said in there. Its an environment which makes me nervous. I finally went in one day with my Mum - not because I thought she could help (she is worse than I am when it comes to mobile technology) - but just for moral support.

I approached the 15 year old work experience chap behind the counter and explained that my phone wouldn't charge, described the symptoms and then braced myself for the inevitable assumptions of idiocy I knew were heading my way. First of all, he tried plugging it in and naturally, the little blighter started to charge.

Him: It seems to be charging fine........

Me: It does that. It's like when you have a headache for a fortnight and it disappears the minute you go to the doctor. It normally doesn't. Honestly. (He looks unconvinced.)

Him: Are you sure it's not the charger?

Me: (Thinks to myself "Well that's sort of WHY I AM HERE!!!") Yes, I'm pretty sure the charger is okay. I can hear it working (for I am not yet deaf, young man) but presumably you can check that for me? (He does so. It is fine.)

Him: Are you plugging the charger into the right socket on the phone?

Me: *ungritting teeth slightly* Ye-e-e-s, I have had that phone for over two years now. During that time I have figured out where the charge-y bit goes. I am not plugging the charger into the headphone jack, promise.

Him: (jovially) Are you sure you've paid your electricity bill?!!!

I smile faintly. I need his assistance, so poking him in the eyes won't help. Meantime my mum is refusing to make eye contact with me in case she dissolves into hysterics.

Him: Oh look! It's stopped charging!

Me: TA-DAH!!!!! (Well I didn't actually say that, but I thought it really loudly.)

Him: Hmmmmmmmmmmmm. I think there's a fault with your phone.

Me: REALLY??????

Him: We'd need to send it away to the manufacturer for repair. Usually takes about 28 days or so.

Me: I'll think about it.

And I did. Inertia took over and I did nothing for a while, except wheedle Husband into working his magic with a can of Servisol every time I needed to charge my phone. Until it finally died - it ran out of power entirely and nothing I did could persuade it to charge.

So now I have a new phone. The phone call to Orange to arrange said new phone was a painful experience as, again, I only understood about 40% of what was said. I eventually managed to get my really important technical questions asked, namely: (1) Can I keep the same number? (yes) and (2) Can I have a less fulsome talk plan as I am no longer a full-time court lawyer and just don't need that many minutes any more? (also yes). I was also assured they could courier the phone to me the next day. At this news, my mind went into Organisation Mode (Can I be in for a courier tomorrow? Do I have any appointments? Do the boys have music lessons tomorrow? Are my neighbours in so they could take a package if I miss it?... etc etc)

Meanwhile the boy on the phone was in full flow about the recommended phone and the package he was offering specially to me because I am such a valued customer. I wasn't really listening as I was still trying to work out whether it would be okay for a courier to stick my new phone in my wheelie bin pending my arrival home. He mistook my middle-aged dithering for hard-headed haggling and promptly knocked £6 per month off the proposed contract price. So humming and hawing comes in useful sometimes. Who knew?

Anyway, my new phone arrived safely and I even managed to get the SIM card in by myself. Only took me 13 minutes, a new personal best. I don't understand how to use it yet (it has a touch screen which keeps surprising me by whizzing around as I try to figure out how to set the time correctly) and it has just occurred to me that I don't know what the ringtone sounds like so may have been ignoring calls for the past 24 hours, but I am sure that I will be a complete genius with it by the time its battery dies or I accidentally drop it into the sink.

One plea for help though: if you know me in real life, could you e-mail your phone number to me? Old Phone had the last laugh: it died with all my numbers in its wizened, bitter little memory and I can't get them out.