A wally wallet forgetter

If I start by telling you that this week and indeed blog will be a snot free zone, then just by doing that I have made it untrue.  Anyway, after a full two weeks of my life threatening cold I appear to be recovered.

With that trouble behind me I have been enjoying the finer things in life, like sleep and the ability to breathe and as such was looking forward to the weekend.  I should by rights have been in London for a Christmas do with work, but decided against it as to be honest I wanted my own bed over the weekend, and the do involved making decisions about what to wear in swanky London eateries and discotheques, and I honestly couldn’t be arsed with the shopping or selection process that might involve.  At my age once it goes dark I just want to get home, draw the curtains and get “seckled”.

It would seem that the Gods of Christmas dos decided to take full and vengeful revenge for this indiscretion, as I have had a weekend that makes you think you should have either stayed in bed or gone and drank forty-eight tequila shots in Stringfellows with some work colleagues.

So Saturday started normally enough.  The Big Shop was on its way from Asda, and for the past few weeks they have always turned up towards the end of the two-hour slot.  With this in mind, I went for a shower leaving Rebecca to look out for the van just in case it arrived.  So as soon as I had unleashed my toned and teasingly taught frame from the shackles of clothing and had one toe in the shower, Rebecca shouted that they were here.  A mild inconvenience, and I quickly dressed and came downstairs to deal with the delivery.

The rest of the morning dwindled away, and after lunch Louise and I had the joyous honour of a visit to B&Q (on xmas tree buying weekend) to get some wallpaper for our long undecorated kitchen.  Time was already getting on by the time we set off, and the traffic was a thing from the bowels of hell.  The increasingly frustrating and depressing state of the traffic whenever I am trying to get anywhere is the subject for a whole other bile ridden moan filled ranty blog at some future date!

So it took an age to drive the few short miles to our local B&Q.  We got out of the car, and I did my normal pat down routine to make sure I have everything….phone….car keys…wallet….bollocks.  Now, I didn’t have to pat anything to know I had those.  That last expletive was more of a cry of anguish realising that I had left my wallet at home.

How I laughed.  I told Louise to go and choose stuff (I have no input into these decisions anyway) and I would “pop” home to get it.  So I wrestled through the crappy traffic again, dashed in to get my wallet and set off again.  I needed my wallet for petrol too, so as soon as we’d done the DIY thing we’d stop on the way home for that.  A few hundred yards later, as I moved out to overtake a bus that had stopped, a press of the accelerator met with no response.  It soon dawned on me that for the first time ever, I had run out of petrol!

I coasted to a stop, luckily in a legal parking place, tried to phone Louise to tell her what had happened, but of course as per usual her “mobile” phone was pretty much the opposite on the dining room table.

So I set off walking back home (thankfully I had only driven a couple of minutes) to get Louise’s car.  I have to say that my stress levels were a bubbling at this point.  I wanted to get the wall papering done, and I could feel time rushing away as I tried to walk home as quickly as possible without slipping on the inconveniently icy pavements.

With a vehicle secured, I tried again to get to the promised land of B&Q, and the traffic had gone up by about another 25%, so by the time I got to Louise I was a coronary waiting to happen.  We checked out, and set off for home.

Once home, through more tortuous bobbins traffic, I looked for the petrol canister that Louise bought recently when she ran out of petrol!  Of course, I couldn’t find it, so we set off again in Louise’s car to the petrol station.  I paid a ridiculous £6.99 for a suitable and legal petrol container, as apparently they don’t let you dispense it into an Asda bag.

I then filled said container, and we drove back to my car, through even more even worse traffic where I got it going again and drove home.  By this stage I had fallen out with the world….all of it, and I sat in a monstrous sulk for the rest of the day whilst Louise and the girls did the Christmas decorations.  My aversion to festivity at this point measured about 400 on the Richter scale.

My anger was aimed at me, and me alone, (apart from the driver of the X reg Hyundai who did 24 miles an hour in front of us all the way back from B&Q) for being such a complete arse and forgetting my wallet, which kicked off this stupid and maddening series of events.

Still, no-one died, and as the night wore on I calmed down and got back to some sort of normality even though I had to sit through most of the X Factor.  You can imagine how Christopher Maloney helped my mood?

So Sunday dawned full of fresh starts and new hope.  Alas, today has consisted of decorating the kitchen, and I have documented many times what sort of frame of mind DIY puts me in.  It is complete, and apart from one” is it overlapping at the top” comment from Louise as I was about ten seconds into the second piece, any unpleasantness was kept to a minimum.

Oh, and the dishwasher broke.

Ho, Ho, Ho.


Till the next time…..

There is a light that always goes out….

Being of an OCD nature, with more than a hint of Virgo, I apparently seek perfection in all things, and I am not comfortable with things being incomplete or broken.

I plead guilty to most of that to be honest.

So, already feeling that the Gods are toying with me at present, seeing what new wretchedness they can bestow upon me for their own pleasure, I have developed a theory, based solely upon our dining room light fitting.

It is relatively important to me that things function correctly, and are as they should be, so I am a slave to B&Q each time a bulb goes out around the house.  So this here dining room light fitting is currently funding the fat cat bonus of Messrs B & Q.  Every sodding time I replace one bulb, within twenty-four hours, the one next to it  (it’s always the one next to it) goes out.

It mocks me

So I now have two choices.  I can either throw another three quid down the swanny, (as they do not sell bulbs in single packs) whilst octogenarian shop assistants chuckle under their breath at the B&Q warehouse, or I can simply never again look upwards in our dining room.  Thinking about it, I bought the bloody light fitting from B&Q too, so have they devised an ingenious money-making scam, where the sale of a fitting continues to generate revenue for them on a weekly basis?  I both hate and envy them in equal measure.

For now, let’s see who blinks first in this stand-off where I am refusing to buy another bloody bulb any time soon.

It has been a relatively uneventful and unjoyful week, as most of it was spent in work, uncovering fresh misery upon misery each and every day.  To add to this nonsense and the light bulb persecution, our potentially restful Sunday was hijacked at around lunchtime.  I was due to pick my Dad up from his golf club after his annual “whiskey do”.

This whiskey do involves a round of golf where the winners of each hole take a shot of whiskey.  Then back in the clubhouse the whiskey continues to flow, guaranteeing that those participating will be in no fit state to drive home.  As the weather has been shocking, I decided to call my Mum at lunchtime to see if the golf had been cancelled, meaning I wouldn’t need to make the trip and scrape my Dad off the nineteenth tee.

It turned out that she was having a recurrence of her troubles from last week, and requested that someone took her to the hospital.  So Louise did that, whilst I waited for Dad to phone after his golf to be collected.  Upon collecting him it soon became apparent that he’d had a successful round of golf, and taken on board a fair amount of whiskey.  I informed him that his planned afternoon of sleep and hangover cultivation was cancelled and we were headed for the A&E.

We met up with Louise and Mum there, and did us some waiting.  My Dad, having had fifteen whiskies was probably in the right place, because had I consumed that, I would need to go to A&E too.  He was definitely worse for wear, and I’m not convinced he really knew what was going on.  After some doctorage, we left them at the hospital for tests etc and went home.  Within half an hour of being home (it takes half an hour to drive to or from the hospital), Dad called saying that he didn’t feel great, and could we go and get him!!!  We did, with me dropping him at home, and Louise waiting with Mum.  Are you keeping up so far?

Eventually, some hours later, Louise has arrived home, leaving Mum for more testage and treatment.  She’ll need picking up later, but fear not, I have asked my brother if he’ll step up for that one, as frankly neither of us want to do that journey again today.

So, no-one knows what’s up with Mum right now, and I think that is the worst thing for her, as that causes more worry.  Hopefully they’ll get somewhere near to the bottom of it for the sake of her peace of mind.

I suspect come tomorrow morning, whatever the outcome at the hospital, my Dad will feel the worst of the two.  If the hangover doesn’t get him then my Mum will!!

I’m hopeful for a more positive and rewarding week to come, and surely on the law of averages, that has to happen sometime soon.

Till the next time…..

Tardy Remissness…

Well it has been far too long since my last post.  Apologies.

It seems much has happened, but nothing really of earth shattering importance.

As I mentioned right at the end of the last post, I spent a couple of days in the South West “on business”.  Bristol and Stroud don’t really conjure up those cosmopolitan images of exciting business trips that some must endure, to New York or Hong Kong, but at least it got me away from the office for two days.  Adding on the lack of a Friday due to Easter it made for a very pleasant week….well as pleasant as a working week can be.  I do wonder what it might be like to have a job that you actually enjoy and have a passion for.

Don’t get me wrong, I have passion for what I do, to the extent that I want to do a decent job, and get upset when folks either get in the way of that or don’t want to join in.  For all my joshing, I have worked bloody hard for the past 23 years (Oh God that is depressing) and have reached a fairly decent position….but I can’t hand on heart say that I love my job.

I think a lot of that is down to the fact that when I’m gone, I won’t be leaving behind Nobel Prizes and earth changing legacies.  More a list of modest acheivements and regrets that I didn’t try harder to be a pop star when I still had hair!!

Yep, that's the way home.

Anyway, back to the story…whilst in Stroud I again stayed at the Ragged Cot which is a cut above the usual Travelodge style place our budget dictates we stay at.  As well as some (honestly) useful meetings, we did just seem to eat for 24 hours, which can never be a bad thing.  Mental note – actually start the pre holiday diet fat boy, rather than just keep talking about it.

Then of course we had the Easter break, and I must say that a four day weekend should be the norm.  If any party stood at the next election with that on their manifesto I would not only vote for them, I’d be out there now canvassing!!  Forget the small issue of an unsustainable economy, it makes perfect sense to me.

Those familiar with the Pavlov’s Dog theory will perhaps understand my theory of Bank Holidays.  After the bleak winter months, at the first sign of temperatures above zero, and an extra day or two to fill, the entire nation throws itself into DIY.  Some do it as they enjoy it.  I however rank DIY just above removing my eyes with a rusty fork.  Still, the theory held true as we spent most of the long weekend painting.

Louise was of course to blame, as she did her usual trick of starting a job, knowing that I am unable to cope with a half finished project.  So after many days hard slog we now have a chocolate kitchen wall (yes, just one, and not real chocolate…just the colour), which to be fair has made a huge difference to the room, and our whites are sparkling.  That as a result of my non stop glossing.

Chocolate Wall
Bring on the wall!!

I did count the weekend a success though as I managed to avoid setting foot in B&Q.  However as we drove past it during the weekend we did spot the rest of the western world queuing to get on the car park…proving my theory of course.

So back to work, but only for four days so not all bad.  On Wednesday an ex boss of mine called me offering a ticket to Old Trafford that evening.  He is an Everton fan, and I support Liverpool, so this may sound a little odd, but his new company “does corporate” there, so for the sake of a night out and meeting up with him for a chat I of course accepted.

There was a real sense of foreboding as we walked from his office at Salford Quays to Old Trafford, and every United fan who looked at me seemed to be seeing some sort of “I support the enemy” tattoo on my forehead.

Still, it is always a nice experience to see a big football match live, and for someone with my allegiances, imagine my delight to see United go out after leading 3-0 on the night.

Old Trafford
Enemy Soil, literally.

Some may think that you should always support the English team in these situations, but those are people who simply don’t understand the rivalry between Liverpool and United.  I have many friends who support United, and we get along fine, and even can exchange some ribbing both ways after a game.  I am old enough and sensible enough to seperate the two, but the hatred for United as a concept is deep seated and irrevocable I’m afraid.

Friday brought a mini crisis only resolved by having some true friends (who happen not to support United).  The crisis was that I have an ageing cocker.

For those who don’t know, he is called Henry, and is the family dog.  For some time he has been plagued with nasal issues…namely a lovely stream of excess snot.  This is managed by some regular medication from the vet, which seems to be funding his annual holidays and retirement fund.  Over the last few days though it has reached a whole new level in yuk.

The vet was visited again on Friday evening, and it seems that my glossing antics may well have irritated his hooter (not as much as it irritated me having to do it).  The plan was to get some more pills (he wants a three week holiday this year I guess) and if possible to get Henry out of the house for a bit.  As he probably wouldn’t appreciate sleeping in the back garden, we called our good friends Steve and Di, who looked after him when we went away last summer.  They agreed, and this meant we had to do a hand off just off junction 28 of the M62 on Frday evening.  There was nothing illegal involved here, Steve and Di live in Yorkshire, so this was a suitable middle ground.  By the sound of things Henry is having a ball, and hopefully his hooter will be smeg free soon so he can come home.  When the kids get a cold, we’re going to use the same trick to palm them off to Yorkshire as well.

Speaking of friends who actually do support United, to round of this latest post, we entertained Mike and Amanda last night.  At the risk of sounding a little odd, I met Mike on the internet!!  This was many years ago now.  We were both members of The Dibb, and realised we live not far apart, and made that huge leap of actually meeting up in the flesh!

We have many things in common, such as a love of Disney/Florida and a hatred of our jobs, but a realisation that we must endure the latter to have any chance of enjoying the former.

Having spent many an evening around their fire pit, we have taken the plunge and invested in one for ourselves.  Wow, a fire pit and decking….as Rik from the Young Ones would have said “Stop being so blinking Bourgeoisie Neil”.  Even though I am not called Neil.

Fire Pit
Help, the decking is alight!!

Again having avoided B&Q for another weekend, we enjoyed a nice evening staring into the fire and poking it with a stick.  Nights don’t get much more exciting.  So much so that Louise wandered off to bed well before Mike and Amanda left, which was in no way related to the amount of red wine consumed.  She was just tired.

So today is to be a true day of rest, before the diet starts tomorrow (other phrases in the same category…the cheque is on the post, we don’t mind looking after your snotty dog and I have no homework Dad honest).

Till the next time….