Friday, 18 September 2009

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Laurel & Hardy ….

…. build a shower.

Have you ever assembled flat pack furniture? Ikea or MFI (r.i.p.) perhaps. Imagine the instructions that come with the pack. Now remove most of the wording in those instructions. Then delete a few steps in the process. Maybe throw in a few pictures of something you don’t actually need to assemble. And lo and behold, you have the instructions to the shower for our en-suite bathroom. Next add Dave to the mix – he would usually prefer to ignore instructions, is peeved because his solo attempt at shower building failed and has been forced to call in reinforcements. Enter me – I follow instructions to the letter (even if there are no letters), am the Betty Boop of the diy world and have the patience of a saint who is very impatient.

8:30 a.m. – construction begins; screw top of cubicle to side of cubicle. Done. Screw bottom of cubicle to side of cubicle. Dave curses low quality workmanship in manufacture of screw head (or words to that effect).

9:00 a.m. – finally get bottom of cubicle screwed to top of cubicle.

9:15 a.m. – Philippa curses manufacturer for providing incorrect plastic seal. Dave points out that the diagram is upside down.

9:50 a.m. – Philippa loses balance while trying to fit protective cap on glass, realises just in time that grabbing on to loose glass wall of cubicle to stop fall would be a bad idea and tumbles into corridor. Dave raises eyebrow, Philippa giggles.

10:15 a.m. – Philippa spends ages forcing door trim onto door. Dave points out that the wrong trim is on the wrong door. Philippa curses Dave.

10:40 a.m. – Philippa just can’t get the little plastic cap onto the door spring as it is clearly far too big and there isn’t a hope in hell of getting the cap on. Dave slips cap onto spring. Philippa leaves room and sucks up mosquitos with the hoover instead.

11:25 a.m. Dave admires completed shower cubicle. Philippa goes to get a biscuit and thanks the Lord that there are no more showers to be built.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

There’s a famous story of the very hungry caterpillar munching its way through ice cream, salami, watermelon, cheese, and a lollipop before finally emerging as a beautiful butterfly. But behind this cutesy kiddie story is a much darker tale, a true story of death, destruction and revenge.

IMG_3850   IMG_3846 Instead of a single brightly coloured hungry caterpillar there is a multitude of ravenous, vivid green little b*****s. The selection of sweets & delicatessen delights is in fact a smorgasboard of brassicas. Munch, munch, munch, all day long. My leaves are like lace. My sprouts are a blanket of caterpillar poo.

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So where once my week day morning began with emails and coffee, each day now starts with Caterpillar Patrol. No leaf remains unturned. It’s less “you can run but you can’t hide” and more “you can’t run and you can hide”! Every curl of the kale and each frill of the savoy is examined with meticulous care. At first I could only bring myself to flick each caterpillar from the leaves using a gloved finger, but now I ruthlessly pluck each critter from its hiding place, give a little squeeze between thumb and forefinger, and toss the corpse into the bucket of death.

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But I confess to a growing sense of disquiet about this murderous streak in my psyche. Is there bad karma in decimating the caterpillar population? Will I wake up one morning in a bath of carnivorous caterpillars “I’m a celebrity ..” style? In my next life will I return as a caterpillar in Mr McGregor’s cabbage patch?

Monday, 14 September 2009

Back to the Grind

Well we’ve just had a lovely couple of weeks in Greece at a friends wedding, which will probably be our last overseas holiday for quite a while! Phil is getting used to the fact that she doesn’t have to go to work at Vodafone any more, but she still does talk about it in the present tense. The weather has been lovely since we returned, which is slightly unfair on both sets of parents who house sat for us while we were away and experienced horrendous storms for most of the time they were here.

We’ve cracked on with painting the exterior woodwork but we did take some time off to do one of the walks near us as “research” for the holiday cottages.

We walked up in the hills overlooking the River Dovey estuary which was lovely, and is one of the perks of not having a 9-5 life so we are able to take advantage of the sunshine.

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