Monday, 31 January 2011

Birthdays in England.

This is what happens you know.

funny pictures - Your red blood cells are being attacked by kittens.  If we don't act soon, you will die of happiness.

I have just over six hours to go.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Alone. All alone.

So here I am, the day before the end of January and I have been kicked out of my home.

I shouldn't complain really I suppose.

The sun is shining. The sky is blue and finally the temperature has risen into positive numbers. That and the fact that my banishment is only temporary. As I wait for the ping of the text message to say I am allowed back I am sitting ina flash chain coffe shop at a table with comfy seats. I have an uber-trashy newspaper, CK's baby laptop, my knitting plus a MAHOOSIVE hot chocolate has been consumed.

One can only imagine the things that are taking place back at Trash Towers.

Last year during my exclusion they were designing and decorating the '40' magnet that now adorns my fridge. The year before I walked the dogs in the bitter cold and dark while they secretly baked a cake. Apparently it was CK's determination to keep it secret that stopped him washing the dishes that were already waiting to be done. You see, he didn't want me becoming suspicious so he only did the implements of baking. He was corrected of this misapprehension very swiftly.

Tomorrow will show the results of today's adventures.

So anyway this past week up at Trash Towers we have

- had the architect visit and been extremely excited to think we wouldn't need planning permission but reality soon intruded. (I know I have posted this already but I did say the ecitement was extreme!!!)

- had words with destructoBoy's teacher bc I am sending him to school in tears as he is so bored. Was very restrained about the whole thing and tried to work w her (trust me it isn't easy) but think the older, v . experienced teacher sidling into room on a pretext during meeting AND then contributing more than a little rude and quite odd.

- been pondering the balance of letting daughter attend much desired sleepover vs not wishing her to watch 'Zombieland' movie OR 'Sun, sea & sex' tv programme.

- been gobsmacked at friend thinking it funny to point out on Facebook that she thinks I talk to much. Perhaps I do love but there is a time and place is all I am saying.

- watched OMD become increasingly wobbly-headed and unsteady. Think he may have had another episode. Current in-house theory is extreme cold exacerbates his condition.

- found job to apply for. Right field, close-by, not ridiculous hours. All this adds up to me being unlikely to get it! Never mind, shall send in application anyway.

- have given into the frigging headcold that has been visiting. Am so completely over having to exist on lipbalm and water. Promise that one day my lips will be uncracked?

- made one of Jodie's softies. OK so his head is a little skewiff and I didn't put on the seperate face bit that actually makes him a monkey but d/Boy and I were pleased.

- made a fairy skirt for god-daughter bc it is really only 4yo who will wear the things I make (see note about 'skewiff' above).

- tried to knit lace patterns. With each attempt I manage several rows correctly and then BAM! the whole thing goes wrong. Do you think it is personal?

- had a pedicure AND an eyelash tint. Beautician lady is also teaching assistant at d/Boy's school so indulged in good gossip. Plus tint was free as she was practising for her course. Noice!

- planned day out to Southampton with CK tomorrow. John Lewis, Ikea, Waterstones and as many other nice shops as I can fit into the available time there. Damn you school pick-up necessity!

- made biscuits AND cake for school cake stall.

- had lunch with lovely friends in gorgeous cottage. Some people just have the magic touch with design and acessories.

- been with a friend when she received horrible news.

- , as always, taken time to be grateful and appreciative of the small things that make up life.

Wishing you all a fabulous February.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

It would be wrong, wouldn't it?

If I went and had verbally scared the crap out of a handful of Yr. 7 girls.
Yeah, that's what I thought.


You know, you might not want me as a friend.

Gave an old friend a lift up the hill from school this morning. Because you know, it is a very tall hill and school is at the bottom and slowly I am convincing her to be as lazy as me.

We sat outside her house chatting for a few minutes when she said something along the lines of "Oh it is awful, 'BabySpeak' has turned into a terrible tomboy just now. I am forever having to say to her - stop shouting in the house, move gently, oh do try and be just a little bit feminine."

When I had gathered my wits back from the deep recesses of my mind where they had fled in simple self-protection I turned and looked at her with, what I hoped was, a compassionate face. I say hoped but have a sneaking suspicion it was absolute shock.

The words "She is completely feminine." came from my mouth, which is quite good as my brain was thinking 'Why are you fucking with this SIX yo child's sense of self and exploration of her personality?'. Since she was captive next to me in the (very) confined spaces of Maria I gave a her a little lecture all the while trying not to sound too emphatic.

I recognise there may have been an element of projection on my part.

I was always that kid who was too loud. When I got to the single sex school (age eight) I was the one who spent years being told to sit with my knees together (in my defence we wore trousers) and behave in a more gentle manner - and this was by the other girls! Always being told to be more helpful by our 'sainted' nuns. I was the girl who would stand out the front and disagree with someone, even in primary school. Given the option I wore shorts and jeans rather than skirts and dresses, in fact sometimes even not given the option I did it anyway. I had short hair, my nails were ragged (and still are) and clothes are not and never really have been a driver in my life.

I guess the moral here is - if you ping my sensitive spots I will bite. So if you still want to go ahead and apply for friendship status you have been warned!

Monday, 24 January 2011

OMG! The architect has been.

Do you think this means things might actually be going to happen?

Keep you fingers crossed that his estimate on planning requirements is correct and his one for building costs is not.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Singing in a second language.

With thansk to Mrs G from Derfward Manor for the heads up.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

So ... this Christmas present ...

After many many years of waiting and thinking and planning it seems that reality is defintely being split asunder. My Christmas present from CK this year was the go ahead to do the kitchen extension that is so desperately required.

And really really wanted.

A lot!

And it seems, despite possibly my experience to the contrary, that man has just two speeds - sofa and GO! Only two weeks into the new year and we have the funding in place, an architect nearly lined up, a more in-depth knowledge of our local planning office than I would have believed possible and a general agreement on what 'we' want from this build. Please bear in mind when you read this that it is nearly 13 years since we moved in and this has been fermenting for me for at least 11 of those. Oh hell! Who am I trying to kid? 13 of those.

So this is our New Year jaunt, our step into the abyss of 'newbies extending the house', my definition of hope and sheer bloody-mindedness. Come watch the renovation car crash here in Trash TV.

Going to need loooooooots of help when the time comes for layout, design, etc, etc.
Feel free to pitch in as you see fit. I am listening to everything.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Aaaaaak! IRS closes in.

I had a brown envelope yesterday. It said Intenal Revenue Service (Claims Division) on the back.

My heart beat really quite fast.

I don't pay tax any more. Haven't for a long time.

I rang the number and listened while they played clinkly, tinkly music and apologised for making me wait but that someone would be with me as soon as they could.

Neither the apology nor the clinkly, tinkly music slowed my heart rate down.

After 23 minutes and 17 seconds Alistair answered the phone.

"May I have your National Insurance number?"

"No but I have a pretty code you sent me."

"That will do. Are you employed or self-employed?"

"Well, neither. And that is the issue. You have sent me a demand saying I have to have filed a tax return AND paid it by Jan 31. And I haven't needed a tax form for TWO whole tax years!

"When you were employed was it self-employment?"

"Yes. And my accountant sorted everything out and had me fill in forms that informed you I was no longer-self-employed when he did my last tax return"

"And what did you do?"

"Childminder." (How on earth is this useful and why are you not panicking at my imminent financial collapse and ensuing disgrace at being a tax-dodger Alastair?)

"I'll just put you on hold a minute if that is ok?"

"I suppose it wi(CLICK as the phone goes mute) ll have to be..."

"Right then, I have checked it out with my supervisor and there seems to have been some error. My screen is showing that you are no longer self-employed and that all the appropriate documents have been signed and filed."

"Wait. So this means I do not have to have anything returned to you or paid out by January 31?"

"That is correct. You are not due to fill in a tax return for this year or for last year."

"Thank you Alastair you have slowed my heart rate considerably. Now, would you like one of the children I already possess or would you like me to make you a new one?"

(It is not that I don't trust the deep and true relationship that Alastair and I established but I documented everything including what time we spoke straight on to the tax demand and have it pinned in plain sight until I am sure things are resolved. That may be sometime around June at this rate!)

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Finally, with no further delay, the Christmas post.

I was the very fortunate recipient of a Christmas parcel from Ilene.
I have used her picture as a) my camera is still on strike, it will take images but refuses to download them and b) CK packed all the decs up before I remembered my 'new' phone has a whizzy camera. But you can see she made an amazing origami tree all decorated with bells and beads. I examined it hanging in the window several times over Christmas and I still can't figure out which bits are folded to where. A very clever piece of sewing magic.

Ilene also made a napkin holder, placing inside some Australian floral napkins which brought a smile to my Antipodean face as did the mahoosive bag of Snickers which I got to enjoy all to myself as no one else up here has the good taste I do ;-)

Do you see the lil angel beside the tree? This was the ornament I got to open before Christmas. And finally there was a calendar. An Australian calendar. Funny how it always works out that I get to open a calendar on the 25th. And this year I shall definitely be needing one to keep track of my Christmas present from CK.

What is it?
Oh, it would be a whole blog of its own given the chance but it will settle for an introductory post all to itself. Stay tuned.