Tuesday, November 08, 2005

a bit of verbal

So I’ve had my first mean comment. PPQ has massaged my bruised confidence and assured me that as a result I’m now a proper blogger so I’ve decided to take it on the chin as the bloke concerned is obviously a bit of a nobber and certainly lacking in imagination. On the positive side, at least he had the courtesy to asterisk out the rude word he used. Nice to know that he’s still polite even when he’s insulting…..

Monday, November 07, 2005

buzz off

We’re suffering from an embarrassing problem. The flat, our beautiful flat, our virtually new, pristine, sparklingly clean flat has been invaded by a swarm of flies and I can’t stand it. It started innocently enough, a couple of big fat sleepy bluebottles flapping half heartedly at the sitting room window, one almost immediately dropped dead with the sheer exhaustion of it all, the other I dutifully escorted out using the tried and trusted ‘glass and postcard’ method usually reserved for the slower moving minibeast. After that however, things went downhill fast. Every few seconds there’d be another one buzzing angrily round a light fixture or bashing itself repeatedly off the walls. As soon as we captured one, another appeared until P resorted to arming himself with a tea towel and flicking at them, resulting in a secondary school shower block scenario and a pile of squashed and semi squashed little black bodies. Did I ever mention that my other half doesn’t do things by half? He grabbed his jacket, whirled out of the door and seconds later I could hear the squeal of tyres as he drove away. Thankfully he was not leaving me to fend for myself in the fug of flies (or at least only for a short while) because he returned moments later with a wide selection of insect killing apparel, all sporting labels featuring terrifying names and pictures of freakishly large insects with evil grins. After almost killing both of us with copious quantities of fly spray, he stuck a vast number of sticky flytraps to the windows, and then sprayed another canister of fly killer around just to be sure. After yet another frenzied attack of tea towel swatting, he suddenly raised the thousand dollar question – where the heck are the little buggers coming from? This was followed with a hearty session of cupboard opening, carpet lifting, bed moving and even plughole investigation, activity that ultimately resulted in discovering they were sneaking out from under the skirting boards. Meanwhile, I was on the telephone to my Mum (as always, the first person I turn to in a crisis involving household or garden pests). She could only provide me with the upbeat opinion that there is probably a dead rat under the floorboards that the flies are feasting on – so one minute I’m infested with flies, and the next I’m faced with a plague of rats. At this point I’m close to hyperventilating (partly due to shock and partly due to the carcinogenic chemical fumes wafting around me). P has been on another mission – this time to B & Q where he has equipped himself with a gun – a gun full of super quick-dry sealant, the intention being to block off all escape routes so the flies stay in their sub-skirting dungeon forever. 2 hours later P triumphantly declares he has filled every single crevice, nook and cranny – and he has. In fact the only gaps he hasn’t sealed are between my bottom and the sofa and the around the front door. The infestation has mostly been resolved now but every so often one of the teeny pesky critters will mange to make a break for freedom, only to find himself faced with certain death at the hands of a makeshift fly swat or canister of Raid. Surely they’ll give up soon, they really don’t make very pleasant houseguests.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Bin day

Fantastically enough, my new job involves spending vast quantities of the company’s money on beautiful things – perfect. This week I was scouring the high street to find waste paper bins for a project I’m working on and you would not believe the level of pickiness I reached over this seemingly insignificant challenge. Ample height was imperative, style had to be sleek and modern yet robust and sturdy, and above all it had to be cheap… Habitat was therefore out of the question and the only alternative: the twin towers of Ikea, Croydon. 45mins on the train and I got to the Croydon tramway. Possibly the most confusing system I have ever tried to navigate and I had the distinct aura of tourist as I wandered aimlessly back and forwards squinting at the maps (possibly my lack of gold jewellery or Croydon facelift hair doo might also have contributed to the ‘you’re not from round ere’ glances). I got some help from a friendly postie who was a 'regular user' and I only had to talk to him about all the great places in Croydon he could take me to for about 20 mins when Ikea thankfully came into view. Did I mention that gale force winds were blowing and rain was in the air? I battled across the car park, wishing I’d worn sensible shoes and possibly a souwester but once inside the hallowed halls I managed to locate the rubbish bins pretty much straight away without being distracted by snake draught excluders or fairy lights (the fact I had to go back on the tram was a good reason to limit luggage) and selected 12 of the sleekest, sturdiest, cheapest bins I could find. As I headed for the checkouts I even managed not to buy any tealights. Carrying 12 waste paper bins is not easy, they get very heavy, very quickly and when you’re also dragging a laptop, a well stuffed handbag and wearing ridiculous shoes it’s downright dangerous. I couldn’t get my ticket out of my bag without putting everything down, I couldn’t fit through the train barriers, I kept getting evil looks as I bashed my fellow passengers ankles and my arms were getting longer every second. To add insult to injury FOUR people at separate points on my way back to the office chortled ‘Where’s yer bin?’ as I passed by… hilarious.

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