29th March

Today was one of those days that just seemed to evaporate and we didn’t get any of the things we planned to do done. We were in the process of getting ready when we heard one of the cats making a strange noise outside. I looked out of the window and there was Rajah with this huge frog dangling from his mouth! It was so huge the feet were trailing along the decking! I think it may have been an early mothers day present for Sarah – I tried to explain to him that she’d prefer chocolates but I’m not sure he got it. Either way the frog disappeared and I was dispatched to see if it was lurking in the garden but it didn’t appear to be!

We went up the high street early afternoon to buy mothers day presents for Sarah and her mum.  Ben didn’t seem interested at first but he soon got into it picking out some chocolate and a card. We went to get some flowers and he picked some red tulips – I then said he could pick another bunch and he pointed to some white ones and said those ones, then added specifically those ones!

There were a couple of blokes busking down the high street – one playing the guitar, the other the banjo. I’ve seen them both before busking down there but this is the first time I’ve seen them together. It’s good to see that lack of talent or ability stops them from going out and busking nor does the fact that neither of them can play anything vaguely recognisable as an actual tune! At least earlier when I had been sitting in the garden in the sunshine playing my mandolin I was playing something that was recognisable as tunes!

I also decided to do the changes to my beard that I’d been planning to do in a couple of weeks before I went away. I’m out of the office all next week so thought what the heck! I trimmed the bits just below my moustache and either side of the beard before completing the job with my razor.  It ended up slightly lopsided but I figured I’d sort that out tomorrow. There’s a couple of bits of my face are now on view that haven’t seen daylight since about 1984!

image

I’ve come to the conclusion that I have a shaving obsession which is an odd thing for someone who has a beard to have! I’m really enjoying using the open razor it gives a nice close shave and I’ve also noticed that when it grows back it’s not as spikey as it is with my old razor.

We went to Tesco in the evening and it was funny to see the number of men dashing round the store with their mobile stuck to one ear and a bunch of flowers in their hands. I reckoned they’d been watching Ant & Dec on TV when they’d mentioned that it was mothers day and dashed off to get something from the only place still open!

27th March

Another job in Uxbridge, another 3 hour journey round the M25. It’s such a slow painful journey alternating between periods of fluid motion and slow grinding traffic jams. I had to leave at 6am and when I came out there was ice on the windscreen of the car. The journey also alternated between headlights driving through the fog and sunglasses as I emerged into bright sunlight. I arrived at Coca Cola with about 5 minutes to spare, grabbed my camera out of the car and then sat for 20 minutes in reception!

I only had to film a couple of interviews and a bit of filler so even after transferring the data onto the mac and watching it back I was still out of there before noon. I did think about going back to the office but thought better of it.  By the time I took travel time back into consideration I’d have still effectively done a full day. I stopped off at the services to get lunch. As today was a fasting day I was torn between getting a gut bucket expenses lunch and something that kept within the 300 calories range. I eventually decided on the latter having found some nice stuff in M&S that came in at 330 calories – I was quite pleased with myself!

image

It was Ben’s choir concert in the evening at the theatre in Chatham. He’d been down for a rehearsal in the afternoon and I was back in time to pick him up from school. We headed off around quarter past six and left him with his school mates outside Poundland while we went to find seats. As soon as they directed us up the stairs I started to remember having been to these concerts before with my eldest daughter around 15 years ago so it was quite a surprise when it turned out to be the same conductor and pianist after all these years. I’m pretty sure that they were even wearing the same suits! Ben seemed to be enjoying the concert as he was bouncing up and down as he sang although we could also tell he was tired as he would twiddle his hair between songs!

Afterwards we ended up having a kebab thus completely undoing the good I did at lunchtime!

Oh and I accidentally put a hole in one of the cats! Louie had huge lumps of matted fur hanging off him so I tried to cut as much of it off him as I could. I don’t know if I cut him with the scissors or whether he pulled away but either way he ended up with a hole in his skin – seems ok though!

26th March

My lunch was really good today even though I do say so myself! I made the usual salad but added some couscous that was left over from Lissi’s dinner the other night. I also took some of the bread I’d made in the breadmaker and the remains of this stuff the last lot of students had given us as a present.

image

I wasn’t sure what it was so I had to Google it. I knew that Poulet Roti was roast chicken but wasn’t sure was rillettes were. Turns out it’s just a type of pate. Next I googled cocotte and finally worked out I was eating roast chicken pate in a fashionable prostitute!

25th March

Hot on the heals of yesterday’s pissing off by way of the news about the Probate came another blow today! Must be piss Bloke off week! The head e-mailed me to suggest that I stand down as Chair of Governors due to my lack of availability at the moment. I have to confess that it is something I’ve been forced to consider recently as I just don’t seem to have the time – if I’d gone to every meeting and training session I’d been asked to attend this year alone then I would already have to have used up 20% of my annual holiday entitlement. As things stand at the moment I’m busy every single day until I go away on holiday on the 11th April so I couldn’t go to any meetings even if I wanted to.

And I’ve managed to double book myself on the 10th – the day before I go away. One of the Project Managers asked me to do a job ages ago (possibly before Christmas) and I said it should be ok. I didn’t hear any more from him until today and it’s on the 10th and I’m not sure how I can broach the subject of being too busy to do it – oh bollocks I’m going to need this holiday.

Ben’s parents evening tonight – teacher said some nice things about him – sure the deputy head told her to be extra nice to us. I did spot a mistake on the name tag on top of Ben’s book tray where they’d spelt our name wrong. So I took out my pen, unfortunately I didn’t have a red one, and crossed out the wrong letter, corrected it underneath and wrote SP above it!

Sarah’s not best pleased with the school’s plans to change the school hours – basically they want to start 10 minutes earlier and finish 10 minutes later – which on it’s own would be ok. However they then plan to close after lunch on a Friday which we don’t like. I’m sure that this would mean they would spend less time at school (Uncle Michael won’t like that) and in the absence of an explanation as to why I can only assume they want to have a p.o.e.t.s. day every week! I reckon the Executive Head (ooh la-di-dah!) has a caravan in the west country and wants to beat the traffic down the 303 of a Friday night!

24th March

image

A good start to the week when the two  Hare &the Moon CDs I’d ordered from Reverb Worship arrived at work. They both look really cool and are in these really cool cases which weren’t as big as I was expecting.

However my happiness was short lived as I phoned up the solicitors who are dealing with my Dad’s estate.  To cut a long story short it turns out that the probate form I’d been lead to believe had been sent to the court at the end of January had actually only gone in last week.  Apparently the form from the inland revenue had come back incorrectly addressed and had taken 6 weeks to correct. They didn’t say who had caused the delay but as they then admitted that it was almost another 2 weeks before the corrected form had been sent to the court I can probably guess. Furious doesn’t even cover it. I sent my brother a snotty text – no wonder he’s been ignoring my texts – so pissed off that nobody even told me about the delay.

23rd March

An ulterior motive for yesterday’s decision to tidy the utility room was to to be able to get the breadmaker out again! It’d been festering in the utility room for a couple of years and last year I’d bought some flour at the watermill on the Isle of Wight and I wanted to make some bread with it! I’d checked I had all of the ingredients and the only thing I was missing was milk powder which I bought last night when I had to go to Aldi to buy a few bits. So just before cooking breakfast this morning I set the breadmaker going.

As it was difficult yesterday for both of us to fit into the utility room I sorted some of the crap out in the kitchen! Again an ulterior motive was that i wanted to use my espresso maker again. It too had been sitting unused in a corner almost since we moved in so I cleared all the crap off it and gave it a good clean. I’d also got some coffee at Aldi yesterday so I made myself coffee to go with the sausage and egg rolls that we had for breakfast!
image

The bread turned out ok – which was lucky considering I’d forgotten to put the sugar in it! I think I may have put a bit too much salt in as well but I’ll make some more and try and get it right this time!

Another good thing today was that I had a nother good with my open razor and this time I managed to get it right and managed to shave both of my cheeks without cutting myself. I decided to quit while I was a head and shaved my neck using my old razor – think I’ll get a little more practise with it before attempting the tricky bits! I trimmed my beard and moustache as well. I felt I needed to take a small step back to move forward. I still think I’ll lose the bits either side of the long bit of my beard – but I’ll do it just before we go on holiday so that I’ve got time to get used to it before I have to go back to work!
image

I also managed to get a chance to listen to the new vinyl LPs I bought which all seem to be in good condition considering they are all over 30 years old! A few crackles here and there but nothing too drastic.

The weather is  a bit odd today – we went down to the high street and to Aldi and when we got out of the car it started hail-stoning which was a bit bad as I was wearing shorts!

22nd March

Spent most of the day sorting out parts of the house. The utility room has been a disaster area since we moved in 7 years ago! There was a box of stuff we dumped in there the day we moved in and it was still there among the accumulation of stuff that’d been deposited there over the years. Sarah had suggested doing some spring cleaning this weekend and asked me where we should start so I suggested the utility room – I think she was taken aback but went along with the suggestion!

image

So we spent almost the entire day sorting stuff out and chucking stuff away – so much so that when shown a picture of the tidied room Becky asked “have you been burgled!”. We threw 3 black sacks of rubbish away which after we put them outside some skank decided to rip two of them open to see if there was anything worth having in them! This scattered rubbish all over the front yard which pissed me off as I had to pick it all up in the dark knowing there was cat poo in there as well!

What also annoyed us was that no sooner than the utility room was clean than the washing machine decided to leak all over the floor. We checked the filter and found a hair grip but it still seemed to be leaking. So I ended up with the thing tipped up looking underneath it with a solar lamp and mirror! I also took the top off and looked inside. I couldn’t find anywhere that seemed to be leaking – the front weight was wet which suggested to me that it could be the door seal but after pouring water on it I didn’t see any coming out! Sarah found a video of how to change a door seal which looked straight forward so if the worst comes to the worst I might have ago!

21st March

Surprise announcement this morning – Kate Bush has announced 15 dates at Hammersmith Apollo – her first in 35 years. My friend posted this news this morning.

My response was – Already seen her!

kate bush

When her tour was announced she was playing at the Sunderland Empire but we had really good tickets for Thin Lizzy at the Newcastle City Hall that night so somehow we convinced our parents to let us go down to Manchester to see her!

The ticket in 1979 cost £4 and was a really good one – this time round a top price ticket will cost you £135. Personally I’d rather have seen 1979 Kate Bush than 2014 Kate Bush but there you go I’m sure it will sell out in seconds – wonder who’ll make the most money out of it Kate Bush or the ticket touts!

20th March

image

My other two vinyl purchases were waiting on my desk for me when I got in.  I was a tad disappointed to find that the Led Zeppelin one didn’t have the inside cover with the lyrics to Stairway to Heaven on it but I guess it’s the album that counts.  Anyway I hear a new version is about to be released on vinyl so this’ll keep me happy till then. I also had a shock when I opened the other package and pulled out a cover for a Smurfs record! Thankfully it turned out to be just part of the packaging and the real album was underneath!

Ben has broken his arm! The school rang to say he’d been complaining about the pain again but by the time Sarah got the message he was already in singing club so Sarah waited for him to finish but when she saw his arm she took him straight to casualty. The nurse who saw him this time said she suspected that it might be broken so she sent them off for a x-ray. Sarah said the nurse then came out and announced in a big voice – I was right! It is broken! So Ban has a back slab on it at the moment and we have to make an appointment in 2 days time to get the full cast on. This means he will have it on when we go on holiday – it’s like my youngest daughter Rhianna all over again!

The school and the NHS haven’t come out of all this looking very good at all! This could have all been sorted on Monday afternoon if the school had believed him and the hospital sent him for an x-ray. This is what it’s like nowadays – a shambles.

Today was one of those days I was surprised to get through without punching someone! Is it national annoy bloke day or something?