Monday, May 29, 2006

And Lo!

At some point over the last couple of weeks, I forget quite when, I took the carpet brushy bit of the hoover to bits (you can see why the date isn't etched in my mind).

For quite a while the lever things on the back that push the brushy bits on the bottom up and down (just skip to the next paragraph if this is getting too technical) had been getting stiffer and stiffer and just not doing what it was supposed to do. It felt like there was something in there obstructing the motion of the levery thingies.

With reluctance I took the whole carpet head thing to bits. I say with reluctance because I know from past experience (and if you've been following my gripping adventures in housekeeping here you'll know too) that any task that involves any dismantling or repairing anything around here invariably ends up involving plumbing, a trip to the timber yard and the exessive use of power tools up scaffolding

I took the metal plate off the bottom of the thing, and carefully placed the screws in a safe place followed by some little springs that I discovered behind it. (Amazingly, they hadn't flown across the room and disappeared behind some heavy piece of furniture.) Inside was a heavy quite complex felt gasket. I lifted it out. There was nothing else in there. With the gasket removed the lever things moved freely.

I fitted the gasket back in and reassembled everything. I tried it. It was just as bad as it had been. I opened it up again and took a long look at the gasket.

It may say something about the state of my mind and my general tiredness but it was a good 10 minutes before it struck me that it was extremely unlikely that the Vacuum Cleaner Division of the mighty Panasonic Corporation would manufacture a felt gasket the exact shade as the average of my carpets. I had carefully reassembled the thing with a 10 year accumulation of compacted fluff. I threw the gasket away and the cleaner works a lot better now.

Holly decided she was God tonight.

She came in from her bath to the kitchen and said "Let's pretend this is a Church and someone is God!"

She then promoted herself to the post and processed around the kitchen with Daisy trailing along after her like an accolite* chanting: "Where are your wishes? Where are your wishes?"

Why do they have to grow up?

*New AccoLite!
50% less fat than your average disciple!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

OK! OK! A Title! - Damn You! You Stupid Machine!

I sometimes wonder how people coped with having children before CBeebies, disposable nappies, and automatic dishwashers.  I would be buggered without any one of them.  As it is I'm buggered at the end of the day anyway.  I have been less tired after a day's work on a building site than I am looking after my daughters all day.  They just never stop - unless I plonk them in front of the television which is evil and fills me with such guilt that I finish whatever it is I have to do at breakneck speed and rescue them. 

Finally starting to make progress on the set I am building for Ilona's National Theatre of Scotland thing. 3 weeks to go and I've finally got my act together.  Between the kids and everything else I'm only managing to get an hour or so at this each night - but it's starting to take shape.  One of the things I was trying to get to do before I started on this was to clear out my workshop.  I have a 25 square meter workshop that is so cluttered it is impossible to work in it.  I haven't been able to get to the wood lathe in over a year and I have to stand out in the front porch to run things through the circular saw.  It's pathetic that I let it get into such a guddle but I have, and it is, and life is exremely everso more complicated because of it.

I'm building the set in the porch which is also full of junk - including a 1950s electric cooker (functional) and a late 20th century photcopier (totally dead).

I need to get a grip.

I invented a new branch of science the other day:

Arhythmatics - the only known equation for which is:
A1, A2 + A123

I know: "Don't call us..."

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

My Blogging Tool Requires That I supply a Title; Who Am I to Disappoint a Machine?

It's Tuesday.

How do people have the time to update their blog every day? (Avoiding having children and not living in a building site would be good places to start).  Here it is Tuesday and I'm making my first entry this week.

Not that I have a lot to tell. So far this week my deepest thought has been:

"Subversive".  I know that 'sub means 'below' as in submarine and submerge, so what's a "versive" and how would you get under it?

I think having read two Perry Rhodan Novels, and watched both Santa Claus Conquers the Martians and the Eurovision Song Contest (and voted for the winner) this week has totally fucked whatever brain I had.  Please kids, don't attempt this at home.  I have had years of experience watching bad movies and reading drek SF.  I know what I am doing.  This could have been a near fatal overdose in the hands of less hardened dross addict.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Smell my Bum!

It's Friday. The kitchen worksuface is in and stinking the house out as I liberaly slopped it over with polyeurethane last thing. Tomorrow Sue and len are taking the kids all day and my Mum and Dad are taking them all night. 24 hours (- ish) without the children. Gasp! What are we going to do with ourselves - apart from sleep a lot and indulge in the annual crapfest that is Eurovision!

So sad, so sad.

Still hint waiting hint for hint Phoebe to hint tell the hint world via her blog.

I want to, but it's not my news!

Hint Hint!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Because You Are Not A Mysterious Fish - or - What Can You See Through A Tomato?

Rewiring of Kitchen Done! Hoo-Bloody-Ray! Yet again I have ended up lying flat on my back under my floor boards in the pitch black with the torch turned off (to save the battery) while people poke bits of wire at me through gaps in floorboards. Anyone would think I like this sort of thing.

Mind you, it was interesting down there.

It turns out, despite my strongly held belief that whatever I do to this pile involves me getting under the floor at some point, that I haven't been crawling around down there for about 3 years. I spent an awful lot of time under there before that - making the underfloor supports, that hold up the pillars, that hold up the new upstairs but I haven't been down there since the central heating was installed. I had no idea there were so many new pipes! God knows what they all do, and why I have so many stopcocks down there, and what I'm supposed to do with them, is an utter mystery.

Plumbing is weird.

Saturday, May 13, 2006


From fellow Kumquat's Blog:

1. Grab the nearest book.

2. Open the book to page 123.

3. Find the fifth sentence.

4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.

5. Don’t search around and look for the “coolest” book you can find. Do what’s actually next to you.

Ok, done that:

'The cable is wrapped up in its own little package as well.'

Not sure why I did that. I don't usualy go in for these chainy maily things. I have this idea that someone somewhere, the person who started this, is waiting for X amount of time to pass before Googleing all the results and assemble a novel out of the (semi-) random sentences.

If they don't, I will. The lawsuits for plagiarism alone will keep me busy for the rest of my life.

Ceiling of kitchen taped today. I hate taping. I'm totally crap at it. It's a cyclical feedback thing: I hate it because I'm crap at it and I'm crap at it because I hate it. Halfway through I ran out of tape which was a bit of a bugger but luckily Sue came to my rescue with a couple of till rolls she just happened to have in the caravan. It's weird but it worked.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Wednesday. Holly's school was closed for the day to let the teachers attend a seminar on paperwork. Lucky people. I took the kids and Sue to Oban for the day. It was a lovely sunny day the first time I had been out in the 'big town' when it hasn't been tipping it down or about to rain for ages. Quite a few people about all dressed as badly as only the British can be when the sun comes out. Pink flesh bulging out over the tops of too tight trousers, grubby grey bras as the bottom layer of that strange thing women do in warm weather of wearing 3 or 4 things with thin shoulder straps. Living in a small village I forget about things like this.

The kitchen is edging towards - something. Between the kids and this and that and the other (which this week including digging a drainage ditch for the parents) I have been averaging about 2 hours a day on this job. Tonight I got the plasterboarding finished. At last. Taping and sanding still to do, then make the work surfaces, do the rewire... I should be finished by Christmas.

No news from the Solicitors about the vergey thing but on Saturday one of the agrieved parties in the parking dispute started to work on the planters the Community Council have decided would be a good idea. They stopped when we pointed out that we might own it and we're all just twiddling our thumbs now.

Friday, May 05, 2006

I stocked up on long French movies yesterday; there were a pile of them in a Charity shop in the Fort at £1.50 each - anything to break this bad movie loop I seem to have got myself stuck in. While I was there I also bought a video compilation of classical ballet highlights for Holly who, when she isn't being a mermaid, is "going to be a Ballerina when she grows up". Last night we watched it. I'm not a ballet fan. I just don't get it, don't understand why they are doing it. I like some of the music - though according to Holly, only The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy is "Real Ballet Music" - and I can admire the athletisism, skill and dedication of the performers but I just don't get storytelling through dance. Apart from the ocassional "Wow!" moment, which I equally ocassionaly get watching ice-skating, or gymnastics, or the opening stunt of a James Bond movie. I just just don't get it.

I'm waffling.

So there we are sitting watching skinny women and well muscled men gracefully prancing about the stage. The "Balcony Pas-de-deux" from Romeo and Juliet comes on. Juliet swoons on the balcony. Romeo sweeps onto the stage. Their eyes meet. Juliet sweeps down the stairs. They run to each other, they part, they tentatively embrace. They part again. Hesitantly Romeo kisses her hand. She acquiesces to his entreaties. He leaps across the stage in a series of impressive bounds. Holly says: "He wants to kiss her hand. Why doesn't he just stop dancing and kiss her?" I don't think Holly really gets it either - but then she is only 4.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Fish Tennis

For weeks now I have been avoiding getting involved in (or even hearing about) a long simmering row that has been going on up the street from where we live. A near neighbour has been parking his car on the verge of the road alongside our house much to the annoyance of other neighbours who have complained to the council about the possible congestion etc. etc.

Today the neighbour arrived on our doorstep asking my permission to park just where he has been for weeks.

"Why are you asking me?" I said, "It's nothing to do with me, it's the Council's land. Part of the public Highway."

"Not according to the Council," he said. "They say it belongs to you." He produced a letter from the council saying just that.

Bugger! I'm involved.

The whole of the grass verge up the roadside, between my garden wall and the road may be ours. We apparently own 120 square meters more of Scotland than we thought we did. 120 square meters with a streetlamp, a telegraph pole, 2 roadsigns, and a mains sewer running the length of it.

I sort of kind of wish this isn't true. If it isn't true, and the land does belong to the Council (or someone else) the long simmering row will go on simmering without us being involved. I've only lived in this village 15 years; I haven't been here long enough to take sides in any rows not of my own making.

On the other hand. If it is true and we do own it, are we then suddenly responsible for the upkeep of the roadside? Do I have to mow the grass? Pay the Council to mow the grass as they have been doing? What happens if someone hurts themselves there? Can they sue me?

I will have to talk to my lawyer about this.

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