The highlight of the week was without doubt the return of Rebecca from Germany.
She had been a mixture of homesick, tearful, joyous and most things in between throughout the ten-day trip, and so we were very glad to welcome her home on Friday evening. She arrived with a case full of dirty clothes and presents from “her german’s” family. For some reason they were all ginger based, with several different variations on the theme of ginger cake. That is in no way a complaint, any gift ending with the word cake is welcome in our house.
She had of course “fallen in love” with a German boy whilst over there, and within hours of her return was missing him. Having longed to come home for half the trip, she was very soon wishing she was back over there!! This was not helped by an incident involving her phone. You may remember a few weeks ago that she got a new Nokia E5? Well, just before she left for Germany she reported issues with it, but we didn’t have time to get it sorted before her departure.
As 99% of her phone use is text based, which was working fine, she managed whilst away. On her return I phoned Orange and they diagnosed it as faulty, and impressively said a new one would be with us tomorrow. Saying that I called them at around 7.00pm, that was pretty good. So true to their word a new handset arrived the following morning, and we had to hand back the broken one. Retaining the battery, sim and memory card was however not enough to preserve all Rebecca’s contacts, and the text messages she had from Tom, the boy from Germany!
She was devastated! I felt awful, and she is now in the process of sourcing all her missing contacts, but can’t get her texts back. This was not a “Dad of the Year” moment I can tell you.
As is the way, she seems to have got over it now.
This week also saw the snow finally arrive in the North West. We have been a pocket of resistance against the seemingly unstoppable snow until the back end of the week. I wouldn’t claim to be snowed in, but even the threat of snow caused a two and a half hour journey to work on Monday (I travel twelve miles), so on Thursday with actual white stuff on the ground, I elected to work from home.
This wasn’t an option earlier in the week as the garage work has well and truly started, and this manifested itself, in the first day or so, in a complete lack of central heating, as the plumber moved the boiler to a new location. Had it stayed where it was, it would have been in our future shower!
Safe in the knowledge that the house would be warm, Thursday at home was productive, if not dust filled, as the first week of the job, it turned out, involved lots of digging, to put in drains and soil pipes to remove our future ablutions. So watching this also made me very, very happy to be an office drone. Tedious it may be, but at least it is warm. Watching the chaps trying to dig a trench through a concrete floor in sub-zero temperatures more than convinced me that I am in the right place. Yes they may enjoy the four days of summer more than I, but the pay off is simply not worth it.
Temperatures were so low during this work that they broke three digger machine things!
Our house, it will not surprise you is a mess. The assurances that the work would be contained within the garage were ambitious. Dust gets everywhere, and we temporarily have a washer and dryer in the middle of the kitchen until they can replumb them into their future homes.
Saturday morning, early, I was out in my finest bobble hat, digging out Louise’s mini from the snow. The need for food was probably the only possible reason that I would undertake such work willingly. The mini was the weapon of choice as it seems to cope far better with these conditions than the marauding beast that is the Mondeo.
Louise returned a little later with enough food to survive a nuclear winter, so we should be OK should we get any more snow.
So with a house with a look of Beruit we naturally went out on Saturday to get our Christmas tree! After years of falsies, we went for a real one this year. The main driver behind this decision was that the good old fake one lived in the garage, and now with that becoming a bedroom, it had no home and had to go. It was about the same age as the kids, so it was time.
So battling road conditions, and the urge to stay in the warm, Louise and I went to the local Garden Centre, and picked one out. The cavernous world of the Mondeo boot proved essential once again, as it easily swallowed up the 6ft tree, and laughed in my face, as if this would be any sort of test. I’ll be finding pine needles in there for about six months.
The decoration of said tree took hardly any time at all. The lights worked first time, and crucially, and unusually, did not take the customary three hours to unravel. I always put them away wound up nice and neat, but at some point in the intervening months some bugger finds them and ties them into un-doable knots!
Louise had been to John Lewis earlier in the week and spent an obscene amount on specific baubles, so these are all that adorn the tree. Most years we have everything plus the kitchen sink on the old false one, as it was huge. The minimal look is a winner on all counts!
The Louise update this week is that she did not return to work as planned. The doctor wanted to do some more tests, for the “other thing” she may need an operation for, and therefore suggested she stay off until those are done, and they know what they are going to do. The plan now is for a return on the 14th of December. She did however get some good news this week. She had word from work that she has now completed her NVQ Level 3 Health. With her health woes this has been a fine achievement, and hopefully once back at work, will mean progression, and of course some more cash!!
Health wise she is pretty much fully operational now, as evidenced by her shopping ability. In fact having her back in work for four days a week may be welcome to restrict the amount of time available to her to demonstrate this in retail establishments around the North West.
To complete the family round up, Emily is building up for her mocks, and should be revising. She assures us she is, and only has two days left at school this term, as the rest of the time is taken up with the mocks themselves, or study days. Unluckily for her, Louise will be at home to make sure these are not Facebook and MSN days!! Life is cruel sometimes.
So with the weather looking like this outside….
The plan for this afternoon is to stay indoors with the TV and the Xbox, and enjoy some lunch which will no doubt involve something of a ginger nature.
Till the next time…..