Friday, 31 October 2008

An approaching bonfire?

The little street I live in is quite a backwater, unmade, in atrocious condition and generally ignored by the council. Thus the family next door have had a sizeable scrapyard in the street and only recently have been reported to health and safety.

A few weeks ago, at the end of September, I pointed out to the gentleman next door that I could see a problem. The laurels opposite had been hacked back and the trimmings piled on top of a hedge that the people at the back's predecessors had uprooted over a year ago. Their was, shamefully, some trimmings from my buddlia (however it is spelled) and also a lot of branches and wood recently dumped by person or persons unknown. If I had reported it I would have got the gentleman next door into even more trouble, so I just sighed. Next to all this nicely drying wood are the remains of the winnebago and a large pile of tyres, along with sundry cars and caravans in assorted stages of dilapidation. Also, we are on the corner nearest this pile so it includes dear heart's pride and joy, just about four year old car which we managed to get last year. There are also a lot of youngsters with too much time and too little sense around, and Bonfire night is approaching. I had concerns that the youngsters would find it great fun to torch a very large and dry pile of wood next to a lot of tyres and some elderly cars - and ours!

I explained that I was concerned, but I could not leave little bear to supervise a controlled bonfire, and I certainly was not bringing him out to help! The gentleman next door reassured me that he would see to it. I did offer the use of our rusty incinerator but he reassured me that 'his mate' was bringing him a large metal drum, specifically for this purpose.

The pile of wood is still there, but drier. The pile of tyres and the pieces of car are still there. I am now becoming apprehensive. It is such a tempting target!

If the worst happens at least I will have a good view as a fire engine proves or disproves health and safety's assertion that the road is too cluttered.

Things that go bump

Little bear is stirring. This may have something to do with someone at the back of us falling of a ladder and swearing loudly, or at least swearing loudly, I just have to guess at the crash, thunk thunk.

There is a consistent scraping noise, so they may be decorating after their last argument. If they decorate every time they argue badly enough to trash the house they will keep B&Q in business.

I had better go - poor little bear has been short changed for his nap.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

A wonderful evening

I have just had a most lovely evening.

Little bear was playing happily when dear heart came home. The stew I made was absolutely gorgeous, and was brilliant with baked potatoes. The home made bread was also extremely pleasant. Little bear played nicely after tea, then we took him upstairs and he was really good as we got ready for bed. As soon as dear heart had done his duty as Reader of the Bedtime Story little bear went into his cot and made no fuss at all.

Afterwards we sat in the living room with nice, calm music playing. Dear heart was working on his computer and I was knitting and enjoying it. I feel so at peace.

Little bear is getting more of a Mr Mischief. This morning I cleared all the blocks, bricks and hard toys out of his playpen and into a large plastic box which I placed next to the playpen. Little bear's playpen is large with a padded base and lots of soft toys, blankets, and I regularly drag out bits of book and socks. He had shown all the signs of needing a nap, so I put him in his playpen and left him. He had about fifteen minutes or so and then seemed to engage in serious demolition work. When I decided enough was enough and went up he had brought the very large box into the playpen, emptied the toys all over the base of the playpen and climbed into the box. When I came into the room I got 'the look' as if to say, 'what?' This afternoon, after a much more prolonged nap I popped in and he was down to his nappy, his clothes next to him. Also next to him was the box which I had taken out again but this time filled with the toys that I had left in the playpen. Again I got 'the look'. I can't wait to work out what he thinks he is doing, but he seems much more orderly than I ever will be.

A visitor

Yesterday there was a lovely slim silver tabby visiting our garden. She had the most remarkable orange eyes I have ever seen. She sneaked into the house when I popped out to the rubbish bin, but left when I went back into the house. There was an air of ownership around her that told me very clearly that living there for nearly fifteen years meant nothing - the house was hers. Fortunately evil cat was asleep shedding hairs on the bed upstairs, so at least there was no war.

I do have to say that if she had not worn a collar I would have been tempted to try and introduce them, as she looked very slim and the weather was quite cold. I shall see if she returns.
I have booked evil cat into the vets. Her tummy is very rumbly and the level in her water dish is sinking very quickly all of a sudden.

I hope she behaves better than last time - I am surprised that they still will see her.

She is currently sitting on the desk next to me, willing me to turn off the computer and go and sit in the other room so she can sit on my windpipe. She is not quite her usual malevolent self, and I am not sure why.

It could be that she is upset by the breadmaker. I think she imagines that it is growling at her, but she has not yet attacked it like she did the hair dryer. It could be that she just has a poorly tummy. I know she won't use the litter tray while I am in the room, presumably because there is no lock on the door.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008


I had a phone call. 'Hello, Sainsburys Deliveries, I can't find your house.' This is unfortunately a common happening. (I wish I could spell occurance occurence occurence ocurance you know!) I asked where he was. 'Outside the funeral parlour'. That was actually at one end of our road. I explained tactfully, and the poor delivery driver manoeuvred past four cars, a camper van, a small towing caravan and a very large trailer to come to a stop next to a large pile of tyres. All of these moved in with the people next door, and as they are lovely neighbours I really can't complain. At least the winnebago (elderly and burned out) has mostly been removed, a few pieces remaining in a heap.

To make matters worse, the Delivery man was followed by a large white van delivering a gear box to the gentleman next door. He had to squeeze out past two of those people carrier things, both of which with their licence plates removed and both also the property of the gentleman next door unless anyone in an official capacity asks.

But I still would not swap my next door neighbours. Their generosity and kindness should be a proverb.
Well, I am sitting here, waiting for the Sainsburys delivery. Evil cat keeps trying to sit on the keyboard.

There is a friend of the man next door who seems to be sweet on me - he always smiles, gave me his number (which I quickly 'lost') and generally likes to chat. Now, I don't want to appear rude, and I don't want to appear as a snob or unpleasant, but I do feel a little uncomfortable with him. He also looks like someone who is shown on Crimewatch which is a little unfortunate because it is wrong to judge by appearances. And when Sainsburys deliver he will be able to have a nice chat. I am a little fed up about that. Fortunately it is a little order so I won't be out long.

That is the thing with Sainsburys orders. You can't see how much space it is going to take up in the cupboards. I have been going into the advanced mathematics of it. If I order more that £40 on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday I save £2.50 on the delivery charge, and if I order more than £100 then delivery is free! But if my order comes to £32.73 plus £6 delivery, then I really need to avoid buying 'stuff' to make it up. £6 is the cost of two local day riders, and I get more delivered than I could carry in two days of bus journey and without the absolute trauma of getting little bear and his pushchair on and off buses. And if I order once a week or once a fortnight then the advance logistics of finding fresh fruit and vegetables within reasonable travelling distance and with respect to little bear's tolerance for shopping, wind, hail, rain and snow, are made a lot easier.

Now all I need to do is find something constructive to do with all the time I am saving.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Location, location, location

Continuing the introductions, the home I live in is in an area that was once relatively respectable before a local buy-to-let landlord started buying up the local houses and renting them out to, well, anyone who wasn't likely to complain about absence of kitchen lights or holes in roof. Not many Accountants fall into that category.

It sounds like the neighbours whose back wall is our back wall have just taken a large delivery of rubble down their stairs. Little bear's room has soundproofing and I leave him with Classic FM on really quietly every night.

The neighbours to the side are lovely, but their landlord hasn't mended the hole in their roof... If I can see damp from it in our house, I do think it worrying for them!

About two months ago, perhaps less, the local pharmacy moved, kept the old shop but instead of having medicine it had groceries. As it was the only clean shop within miles that sold eggs I was extremely pleased. Then the newsagents started stocking groceries as well...

The trade war is at an early stage, with the former pharmacy now having an 'off licence' so instead of antidepressants one can get vodka. The newsagents do have a very established and loyal customer base, however, and are also running Avon. I am friendly with the people in both shops and find myself, if I call in one shop and buy some groceries, smuggling past the staff in the other shop!

Dear heart

Dear heart is the delight of my life. He is so good to me. We have been married nearly twenty years, and have of course had ups and downs. I think it absolutely marvellous that he still wants to spend time with me.

He is working so hard at the moment, it is so busy. And he is fussing because I am poorly and depressed, which is so hard to deal with. I think men do struggle when their wives are depressed. Men do and there is not much another can do to help depression.

He has given up his night out tonight to make sure I am all right.

I am trying to think of something nice for him to come home to - in the area of culinary matters - and thinking of recipes that can be created that do not require too much movement. He will understand if I can't but I want it to be lovely for him.

Little bear

Little bear is soundly napping, and I am so glad. He has been so tired. He had a rotten day yesterday which ended with him being extremely sick. I am actually oddly proud - he has not been sick for the first 21 months of his life, so I have done something right. I wasn't actually happy that he was sick. Poor little bear - he was having his night time bottle when he pushed it away, and just let everything flow - all over me, himself, the carpet... I managed to keep his favourite toy out of the stream thank goodness.

At this point I braced myself for a hectic evening and started singing and cuddling him as I got him and me changed and the carpet mopped up. Dear heart was wonderful as he had just gone downstairs after his duties of Reader of the Bedtime Story had finished and he came belting up with clean clothes for little bear and an extra pair of hands. But little bear was just smiling happily. So I put him in his cot along with the usual menagerie of soft toys and he went straight to sleep. Dear heart, who can creep quieter than I, checked out that he was well, and he was. He woke up as happy as you like at 6am.

He is now having an extended nap, but yesterday's naps seemed a little unsatisfactory and the day before his naps were entirely absent, as he was far too tired for sleep. I know I 'ought' to be performing housewifery while he sleeps however as I am still so woozy so I am indulging myself.

Evil Cat

Evil cat is sulking again. First of all she cannot believe that I have not turned the heating on in the garden, and is thoroughly unimpressed with this cold business. As evil cat can run head first into doors without visible effect, I don't think much goes on between the ears, so just because this is her fourteenth winter doesn't mean she recognises what goes on. What is worse is that I am consistently objecting to her trying to lie across my windpipe.

The antidepressants have been making me feel extremely ill, so I have trouble staying upright. I've decided to indulge myself with a short time of knitting with calm music on before little bear wakes from his nap. Evil cat approves of absence of little bear, presence of fire and calm music. However the best place is to sit directly under the light that is lighting my knitting - otherwise known as my windpipe. She is only fluff and malice but it is amazing how heavy she can be when it comes to oxygen flow and she isn't really helpful when you are trying to see what you are doing with moss stitch.

First Post! A formal introduction

I feel like I have just started a new school or job - I am starting a blog and it is such a great leap into the unknown.

As Lady Deirdre Waggoner would say, it is best to start with a clear, firm introduction. I am Wannabe Sybil. I aspire to the character and attitude of Lady Sybil Ramkin from Terry Pratchett's Discworld books. I would also like to aspire to her financial situation but I am much nearer the financial situation of Sam Vimes in 'Guards Guards' and it is character that counts.

I have a little boy, which I refer to as little bear, who I absolutely adore. He is twenty two months now, and toddling.

I am also married to dear heart, who works very hard and can usually cope with my scatty ideas.

I also share the house with evil cat, who is a small tabby that is more like 'Wannabe Greebo' except evil cat is a neutered female. Attitude is all.

I hope that this blog will be worth reading. Thank you for your time, it has been a pleasure meeting you.