With another quiet uneventful week behind us, here we are at blog time once again.
Last week of course meant starting a new job. As much as I was happy to be able to do exactly that, it did not lessen the usual misgivings and apprehension that something like this always brings, even when you’ve been working for (quickly does the maths) 25 years without a break. Wow, I am very old.
Week one went OK. I didn’t do a great deal that I could feel enormously proud of, unless you count setting up my laptop, finding the toilets and making the odd brew. I am in the “too new to be useful” phase, which I hope will not last long. I am expecting to be launched into the deep end from tomorrow, which is preferred to sitting reading induction material!
Typically, since starting the new job, every call I’ve had has been from someone trying to talk to me about a job for which “I am absolutely perfect”. Such is life, and it does take a fair amount of will power to tell them I am off the market, and not be tempted to see if the grass on offer is any greener. I have so far managed to be strong.
With some sort of normality restored, I have thrown myself wherever possible into preparations for our upcoming holiday. Have I mentioned that we’re going away?
Last week that took the shape of completing our ESTAs. I resisted the urge to moan about the $14 charge much as my natural instinct was to do so. Rationally, in the scheme of a holiday costing multiple thousands of pounds, it does seem a little odd to moan about a tenner each to get into the country. Again, I managed to remain strong.
With the four of us assured entry into the US (their economy could not cope with our absence), I talked my Dad through the online process and was relieved to know that we are all allowed to go! So onto matters more fun. I found my way to the relevant website to book us tickets for the Daytona Cubs. With relevant discounts from $7 to $6 for seniors and children, the bill for that evening came out at around £30.
I am really looking forward to that, especially with Mum and Dad in tow as they have not seen live baseball since the 1980s, when we saw a college game at Boardwalk and Baseball.
These types of activities are some of the few that I enjoy spending money on!
So after my first four days in work, I headed home looking forward to a nice relaxing weekend with my feet up. You really should know better than that. Saturday meant an all out attack on the loft (soon to be Emily’s bedroom). The task was so huge that we gladly accepted the offer of help from my brother and sister-in-law. We were so glad of that help, as the task was more vast than we had imagined.
We thought we’d now just be stripping off the sixty year old wallpaper. For this reason we had secured the services of two strippers. They got very steamy for hours on end, and they quickly removed the necessary items to our satisfaction.
This stripping was the main task, but the real work ( you can guess which the men did!!) was in cutting up and transporting the carpet down two flights of stairs, along with endless bags of crap. Heavy crap too, as most of them contained the walls knocked down last week. We filled a skip and the cavernous back of the Mondeo and still had stuff to get rid of.
However, a long, long, hard day ended with the job done. It also ended with four very tired, stiff and sore individuals. After a gap filled with showers and a nap or two, we reconvened at our house where I prepared a delightful meal of Mango Chicken. We had made this many years ago, but couldn’t find the recipe. Despite having to guess at most of the ingredients and the cooking methods, it turned out very well. Well done me.
We spent the evening absolutely not moving and watching a film whilst our every muscle stiffened up to the point of rigamortis. The beer and wine went some way to lessening the pain.
The evening did not involve the strippers in any way. I was in no fit state anyway.
Sunday surely must have brought hours of endless relaxing? Not quite. A small lie in until around 9am was followed by a tidy up of last night’s meal, and some general faffery until we set off for the bed shop. You may recall we have a bed for the making of the magic? Well, Louise (Princess and the pea) Williams tells me the mattress is too hard.
The terms of the purchase allow us 40 nights within which to swap out the mattress, so this is what we are doing. Louise lay down on a few mattresses and settled on one that should fit the bill. I nodded in the appropriate place, as I’m pretty sure I will be able to sleep on it.
A big shop later, and I was back home for lunch. Following the collection of Louise’s new car last week, I had gotten to thinking about getting one for myself. Now, I love my Mondeo and it has been an excellent car, but I made the fatal mistake of calculating what the pleasure of driving it costs me over a year. Wow. Safe to say it is a holiday’s worth.
99% of the time, I am sat in it all on my own so it’s sprawling expanse is largely wasted. To cut a long story short, we went back the garage this afternoon and picked out one for me. Between the two cars, we should be saving a whole chunk of cash every month.
Whether it is my recent stressful job situation, and brush with financial meltdown or a subliminal desire to help us get to WDW in future years I don’t know, but I just could not justify the huge wads of cash leaving the bank every month for something I queue up in twice a day.
Another factor maybe that we have found that our new house may well have been featured into that film The Money Pit. We were perhaps a little naive to think that a house of this age, bought from someone in the latter years of their life would be anything but riddled with nasty surprises. The outlay on new bulbs alone would bring Greece to its knees, as every single light fitting in the house has at least one bulb that needs replacing.
Add to that all the lovely appliances we were left. Every one of which have decided now to give up the pretense of working that they fooled us with last week and give up the ghost. It would seem that we are going to have to systematically replace every single thing in the house. However, not until I have had my bloody holiday!
Last week alone we have had issue with the cooker, dishwasher, fridges and the windows. The latter being my favourite. The previous owner had misplaced the keys to all the windows, so we enjoyed a lovely sauna at night, unable to get any fresh air in. Luckily a locksmith was able to locate a key that would work, and for another chunk of money, we can breathe again.
On our return from the garage this afternoon, Rebecca has bathed Oli, and Louise is making us a chilli for tea. (Top tip from Louise, do not put your finger up your nose after chopping Chillis). Time to relax now and enjoy the weekend! Oh bugger, it’s Monday in a few hours.
Till the next time……