Sunday, 17 March 2013

Drama, Rock Music, Frocks and The Big Bang.

When I re-started blogging after a bit of a non start I promised myself I would blog at least once a week. There have been a couple of times in the past where this hasn't happened, and with valid reason, but lately this blog is becoming fortnightly at best and this does not make me happy.
 I also hate the fact that the main culprit is work, notwithstanding that I was in London all day last Saturday for work and without whining on too much (which I could do believe me) I will just say the office seems to be crumbling under the strain of too much work, too many deadlines and not enough people to cover it. I'm fed-up of working through lunch and working late for no extra pay or even gratitude from the boss, and worse still with no visible results on the workload. I come home exhausted and depressed and the last thing I want to do is blog.

As of next week though, no more, I'm taking my lunch breaks firmly back and intend to leave the office on time no matter what.

On a side note I found out on friday courtesy of the boss, that the halcyon state we should all aspire too is not Nirvana as I had always thought, but actually Nevada, so now we all know!

Anyway it's been a busy time out of work too. Monday night I noticed some water on one of the kitchen work surfaces. Didn't think anything of it really, moped it up and went to bed. Tuesday morning I went to make the essential to me functioning of a morn cup of tea and the kitchen ceiling was raining. Not pouring water in great torrents or bringing half the ceiling down (thank god) but never the less water was coming through like steady rain in half a dozen places and it was all very wet.....
I spent a frantic 40 minutes before I had to leave for work clearing and cleaning and placing bowls, jugs and pots in hopefully the right places. Himself said 'Go to work, I will cal, the agency etc' so I did.
What followed next was the kind of farce that we used to have with our rental agency but had thought was long passed (the whole of one November with no heating springs horribly to mind!). I know I have ranted about both agency and landlady here in the past, but for those who missed it, in a nutshell she lives in Italy and is letting this lovely 1930's semi fall to bits around our ears because she is a miser and resents spending a single penny. On top of that the agency change staff more often than I change my knickers and each seems as clueless as the last!

Suffice to say it took over 3 hours before a plumber was finally called out. During this time calls were made both too, and from, 2 different agency offices to establish whether water coming through a ceiling classed as 'serious' enough for emergency action!
I kid you not.

Then the Landlady's 'preferred contractor' had to be called out first, who is in fact her cousin and lives up the road, lovely guy but a full time fireman and NOT a contractor of any kind. (He always has to come first to see if it is a job he or his mates can do for free so saving our landlady money.)  It was he who finally decided that a plumber was required urgently and took the step to call one out.

Anyways you know how I said back last year that according to the plumber my cistern was old and corroded? Well it had finally given up the ghost, turns out the toilet was leaking and badly. In a way this was good because thankfully the bathroom floor didn't need to come up, but it did mean we were without a toilet for 36 hours and it is the only one in the house........I'll draw a veil over that time, but it did involve a bucket.

To cut a long story short I got to clean the one bit of the kitchen I hadn't done in my mad spring cleaning of a few weeks ago, clearly I must have subconsciously known!

You may imagine my shame I felt when I took down the sopping wet net curtain and saw the colour of it. It has now been washed, soaked in glo-white and washed again and is now back up and positively glowing as the packet said it would.

Other than that I have managed to fit in just a touch of socializing and shopping, I hope you would expect nothing less from me!

I went out to The Big Bang in Oxford with some girlfriends last Friday. The restaurant has moved to new larger premises at the Castle complex and thankfully the quality of the food, in particular the rose mash, has survived the move. Basically they only serve bangers and mash, hence the name, and you make your own unique dinner by choosing between a dozen different flavour sausages, 8 different flavours of mash and 6 different flavours of gravy = YUM. I had lamb and mint sausages, rose mash (beetroot flavour but called rose because it's a delicate pink) with rosemary gravy and ate so much I felt a bit sick. Bliss.

I also went out this Friday with Soo to see a one woman show called 'Female Gothic' at the Burton/Taylor theatre in Oxford.

Basically it was the telling of Victorian ghost stories by candlelight. I really wasn't sure at first because she did come on full tilt with the first story, very over the top acting and I thought 'oh dear' I was actually starting to snigger. It really would have been far more effective told in a quieter less hysterical way, you know less is more. I was even imagining how other well known actresses might have done it in a way that would send shivers up your spine.


By the second tale things settled into a much less dramatic and therefore far, far more effective pace. As you know I am a fan of ghost stories especially the Victorian ones so I thoroughly enjoyed it there on and would recommend it highly if it comes to a theatre near you.

From this I rushed across Oxford in the pouring rain to The Wheatsheaf pub with minutes to spare before Nephew Number One's band Mordecai took to the stage.

 and very good they were, always room for improvement of course, but as this was only their 4th gig they did damn good. I am biased of course, but my boy was excellent (seen above on vocals) I'm not even his Mum and I was bursting with pride!
I'm sure it also has a bit to do with the fact I have secretly always wanted to sing in a rock band but I can't actually sing, so I now live that life vicariously through him instead. Oh and doesn't the bass player look like Gary Numan in this picture!?!

I shall wrap up this post with a couple of purchases I have made lately. Himself has a big birthday coming up and I have been busy getting inspiration for gifts on the net and of course that means a bit of Ebay browsing which is always going to result in me buying things for myself!

Two Oasis dresses. I do like Oasis dresses but would never buy them full price far, far too expensive but on Ebay it's allowed. The yellow dress is in the wash even as I type, another purchase that arrived smelling less than fragrant!
The blue dress is in the ironing pile and was whisked out of it for the picture above hence it looking a bit scruffy! I love it and it is very comfortable on.

Finally yesterday I had to go to Wilkinsons and Sainsburys but it kept raining so I ended up dodging into shops between heavy showers which resulted in a little metal duck for a pound from a charity shop and a dress for £7 in the New Look sale!

Last purchases came via the lovely Alex at Odd Socks and Pretty Frocks who shared a discount code for the online shop 'Cheap Frills' on Twitter. I had a glance as you do and ended up buying a rather bizarre bunny brooch and a 6 wives of Henry the 8th bracelet that I bloody LOVE.

Having wittered on about posting weekly at the very start of this long ramble, I'm not sure how soon I'm going to be able to post again, as I have to go to Amsterdam for work next weekend.
The only consolation being I hope to go early in the day on Friday so I can get some sightseeing in before I'm needed in the evening and also fly back later on the Sunday so I can squeeze in a little then too. If nothing else there is a handbag museum in Amsterdam that I am DETERMINED to get too no matter what! 



  1. Oh wow you have had a lot of shite fall on you!

    I live in the US and I know we have renter's rights here. They vary from state to state but most have the same basics. Do you guys have something like that in England? Maybe talk to an agency or department about it. You two shouldn't have to suffer through anything because the landlady is cheap. Also, do you have a lease? If you do, look at the terms. I know in California you can withhold rent until the problem is fixed. Hope this helps and good luck.

  2. God, your landlady sounds crap, how dreadful. But your meal and the theatre and your nephew's band and the dresses - they are all GOOD! Bunny brooch is cute too. Good luck with setting your boundaries at work - no one bats an eye if you work through lunch and stay late, so don't do it! xxx

  3. Oh blimey sounds like you have been a nightmare of it all just lately. I am so glad you said you are going to be taking your lunch breaks back and leaving work on time at the end of the day you need a life still out of work and if your not getting paid extra for the longer hours then stop it now or your end up making yourself poorly. God your landlady sounds like a right old cow im so glad you managed to get everything sorted there before the ceiling fill in. Have a great time in Amsterdam, dee xx ps love your dresses x

  4. Lordy, agencies are a pain aren't they! We lived somewhere once where the fridge was constantly leaking water onto the freezer it sat atop and no amount of asking for it to be sorted did anything. It took a letter spouting health and safety matters to get them to replace it.

    And Gary Numan, exactly what I was thinking!