Tag Archives: woe

2011 Project365 (day196)

15th July 2011

Not working on Fridays anyway, and HD having a long weekend thanks to the Glasgow Fair (local holiday), we headed off to Stirling today for adventures. We did a fair bit of walking round the town (my legs ache now!) and stupidly, although I took my camera I neglected to take my memory card (doh). I took this picture with HD’s phone – it is from the wildlife garden at the back of the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum, a cracking little museum which I really liked. The main museum collection is all in one room, it’s pretty eclectic with everything from Roman artefacts to a flag from the local mine dating from the 1984/85 miners’ strike. It really gave a sense of how much history has both passed through and converged on Stirling.

When we got back I found myself dealing with a succession of numpties – one of my credit card companies has cocked up a payment, then the bank couldn’t seem to sort it out, also the delivery office has returned a parcel to sender despite only giving us the card a couple of days ago (they’re supposed to keep the parcel 2 weeks before returning it), and their helpline and website “customer services” (quotation marks deliberate) were both woeful. However, I have now eaten 3 walnut whips, so whilst I am still cross at least I have a nice sugar buzz.

Christmas 2010

Well, 2010 hasn’t been an annus horribilis, overall it’s been OK, but I think I’d rather rerun December and do most of it (apart from submitting the thesis) somewhat differently. After the drama of the burst pipe the other week, and my ominous noting that Dudley (the car) wasn’t sounding too good, we headed south to see family on Thursday only for Dudley to suddenly sound considerably worse. We were pulling into a service station at the time, luckily, so at least had toilets, tea and (relative) warmth, but it did mean that we were then not a priority for the recovery services, which meant we had to wait a very very very very very very long time before we could get a tow to our destination. We have had to say goodbye to Dudley, who will soon be heading for the great scrapyard in the sky, just as soon as we can get our paperwork down to our brother-in-law (in whose parking space Dudley is currently). In the meantime we have had to hire a car to get us back to Scotland, but dates and availability means that we have had to put off our plan to visit my family as well as HD’s, and we will have to rectify that later in the new year. We’ll keep the hire car just over a week, I will try and have as many admin days at work as I can manage (as I won’t be insured to drive the hire car for business purposes) and try to get a lease car from work. I have put off the lease car option up till now for a number of reasons: (1) you have to commit to 3 years and I never wanted to be that long in the job (2) I have never had a financed car before, I’ve just saved up and bought one outright, and I feel a bit funny about having to pay out monthly (3) up till now we had a perfectly good car. But having sat and worked out the finance options, it will actually work out no more expensive, and in fact will probably be cheaper, than what we had spent on Dudley, his repairs and insurance etc. And for that I will get a brand new car which is insured for both of us and will benefit from free repairs (well, free to me anyway). It’s a bit of a no-brainer really. The 3 years thing isn’t ideal, but could be worse.

Anyway, apart from all that drama Christmas has been fun. I was sad not to be seeing my folks, but as there wasn’t anything anyone could do about that I have just had to make the best of the situation, and have enjoyed being with HD’s family. We have been given so much chocolate I won’t be able to start dieting till the summer (!). The car we have hired is the smallest we could get, unfortunately I have eaten so much the last couple of days it may mean the car struggles to get much beyond 2nd gear as the load is too heavy. If you see a lawnmower chugging up the M6, that will probably be us.

Links bad and good

IMG_3468Good news: we have water in the right places (taps) and no longer in the wrong places (pouring from the ceiling). This is a picture I took earlier, just before the water finally stopped, there’s a full set of pictures here. The plumber was initially mystified by the downpour and couldn’t work out where it was coming from. Fortunately (errrrr…) the built up water burst through the ceiling in the hall while he was directly underneath, and therefore afforded him a really clear view of the burst pipe, so it was then fixed really quickly. The poor guy was drenched! I didn’t laugh (much) – actually it is quite scary to think that if the burst had been only a few inches further along the collapsed ceiling would be in our bedroom rather than the other side of the dividing wall. So I am grateful for small mercies. I have had the headache from hell today, probably unsurprisingly, but it is gradually easing and I should be able to put the final finishing touches to the thesis tomorrow in time for submission on Monday.

In other news, I have been really enjoying the films of various flashmobs people have been posting on facebook. It reminds me of years and years ago at madchurch, at one of the big evening celebrations, they did what we now know as a flashmob in the middle of a service, with a whole crowd throughout the congregation doing a dance to “The Happy Song” (who remembers that?! – by the forerunners of delirious?). That was so fantastic (kerensa, were you there?). Anyway, here are a couple of my favourite recent flashmobs. First up, the Hallelujah Chorus (I think this was in Paisley, near Glasgow, last month):


And secondly, how fantastic is this?! Clog-dancing in Newcastle (it’s worth enlarging the video in the link). I particularly liked the 5 guys from about 2 mins 40 seconds in: clog-dancing. Enjoy!

Not funny any more

So, it’s now 1.40pm today, I have been awake since 7am yesterday morning. After we’d got all that we could out of the bedroom and into the dry half of the flat, we went round to some friends’ for a meal (delicious, as always) then HD slept there and I worked ALL night on my thesis. I’m actually really proud of myself for doing it, I haven’t been able to do a good all-nighter since my early 20s (so, er, a couple of years then) but I stayed focused and got loads done.

There’s still more to be done than I could do and get it printed today, and in the meantime a change of plan means that I am staying in waiting for the plumber again. The plan was for the guy upstairs (whose flat apparently contains the offending pipe) to stay in for the plumber, but he knocked on the door this morning as I was getting ready to think about going to uni to say that he was going to the pub (!). I actually felt so sad for him, he was really open about his problems and that he really really needed to be there, it was actually heartbreaking. So, in the end I decided the easiest thing to do, given that I probably wouldn’t manage anything productive today if I’d gone into uni, is that I would stay in and let the plumber into the close, and phone the neighbour at the pub so he could come back and let him into his flat to get access to the pipe. It’s not exactly an ideal situation, but if I hadn’t done it this way we’d never get the water back.

The only problem is, I don’t dare drop off to sleep in case I miss the door buzzer, and my eyes are now rolling around in my head and it feels like my head is so heavy it’ll roll right off my shoulders in a minute. You know when young kids are really really fighting tiredness and all their body wants to do is go to sleep but they fight it for as long as they can? That’s what I’m like right now. I wouldn’t be surprisd if I have a stroppy tantrum in a minute.

Actually that’s not the only problem. There’s also the minor problem of having been 24 hours without water, the flat stinks, and I’m absolutely bogging. Not helped by the fact that in the rush to move the drawers out of the chest of drawers (and more importantly out of the way of Niagara Falls coming though the wall) we just took them out and piled them up in the kitchen, and it was only at the point where I thought well I can’t have a shower but at least I can wear some clean clothes that I realised my knicker drawer is right at the bottom of the pile. If I were completely with it I’d organise myself to have an expedition and move the drawers all around, but I’m just not, not right now. So here I am, unwashed, in yesterday’s clothes, DESPERATE to sleep – I think if I don’t have a tantrum I might just start dribbling instead. I’m certainly not convinced I could string more than a couple of spoken words together.

This is really doing my head in. Though for the first time in a while, I feel pretty OK about the thesis.

It’s a Knockout

Well, having been a drama queen throughout the last 5 years of this PhD, it’s probably fitting that this afternoon, (hopefully) the penultimate day of writing my thesis, I went out of the living room to make myself a cup of tea and heard what sounded like Niagara Falls. There is a burst pipe in our close, and water was also pouring into our bedroom. I called HD to come home from work, and together we have been running round with sloshing buckets of water trying to limit the damage. HD thought it was like an episode of It’s a Knockout – just without the giant comedy foam feet.

The water has been turned off, and the plumber can’t do anything else till the guy in the flat upstairs comes back, as the problem is most likely coming from there.

The thesis will still be finished for tomorrow. But it is also providing some marvellous material for my memoirs (provisional title: My Life The Farce).