Arghh, one of those horrible, interrupted days, when all one yearns for is a long stretch of peace and quiet in which to concentrate upon a single job in a sustained and productive fashion. The central heating boiler is, to put it as politely as I can, fkd. So a man came round. A different man from the one who, nearly two months ago, proclaimed the boiler to be fine, despite its making loud banging noises and the heating and hot water not working properly. And a different man from the one who came on the recommendation of the first man to check out the timer switch and decided it was OK. And a different man also from the one who has visited about seven times to fix other central heatingy matters, but couldn't look in the boiler because he's not a corgi. Today's man said 'your entire system is fkd, it needs replacing, do not continue to obtain hot water and hot radiators by depressing the emergency over-ride switch or you will all be blown to Kingdom Come'. As a result of what's been going on in the boiler, the electric immersion heater has given up the ghost also. It couldn't cope with the competition. So . . . no heat, no hot water and another man about to arrive to provide a second opinion on the immediacy of threat to life and limb, followed by an additional man who will, one strenuously hopes, replace immersion heater in double-quick time.
On top of which my elder daughter is off school with a headache like soooooo bad and debilitating that all she can do is like stand up in the kitchen baking bread, watch old episodes of, like, Friends and pay frequent visits to my study in order to ask irrelevant and distracting questions re my opinion on High School Musical, hair straighteners, or some boy who was in Any Dream Will Do who has mitigated his disappointment at not having been selected by disporting himself virtually naked in trash teen mags.
My inner store of patience, concern and interest having dwindled to dangerously low levels, my stock response to all forms of human interaction is now, simply, 'arrrrgggghhhh!' and looks set to remain so.
The first shift of my working day due to end in about an hour, when younger daughter, 6 today, will return from school to play with today's haul of new toys - including a Barbie cat which, when supplied orally with water from (improbably) a miniature babies' bottle and then squished in the middle, will promptly wee into a small cat litter tray filled with pink (this is Barbie's cat, remember) absorbent granules. Oh joy.
Can it really be six years since I watched my younger daughter take her first breath as she was lifted over the green screen (yep, way too posh to push, moi!)? Or indeed more than ten since my son was handed across the same screen (10lb 2 oz and sideways on - so I don't think I need to feel guilty about that particular 'intervention') with the prophetic remark, 'well, you've got yourself a fine rugby player there, Mrs Doyle'? Let alone very nearly 14 years since, after what seemed like a whole week of real, sweaty, screamy, hard-work labour, my firstborn finally emerged? Late and reluctant to get out of bed. Some things don't change.
Enough Musings from the Maternity Unit, methinks, and back to what's left of the aforementioned hour.
Over lunch I clicked a few links and discovered three interesting things: (1) a new post by Jules on the English language, its glitches and its glories, which reminded me that I still haven't posted my brilliant and cogently argued piece about less and fewer - and also that the indispensable askoxford.com site is something well worth visiting if you haven't yet made its acquaintance; (2) Roland Chadwick's (see previous blog) myspace page ; and (3) the uncomfortable but compelling WorkingatFoodPlace blog - 'the working life of a UK supermarket slave' - certainly food for thought in many ways and surely worth a PhD thesis or two in itself.
STRANDED SEAL PUPS
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