Friday, 30 June 2006

briefly, thankfully

There appears to be some sort of children's party going on next door.

The street is full of small children shouting, and hitting one another with sticks.

mould and baby clothes

I feel like I'm running out of time.

Tomorrow we go to visit Ma and Pa for a few days - incorporating a mini-blogmeet with Kitchen Witch and SheWeevil, plus some mould and some things that might, or might not, be tadpoles. Yay! (BTW, KW, I can't work out how to link to your individual posts, any tips?)

I am very, very nervous though, as this will be the first time I have ever met anyone off The Internet in Real Life. My father-in-law, a cautious and thoughtful man, stopped short of asking how sure I was that neither of them were flesh-eating axe-murderers, but only by a whisker. So just to check, you're not, either of you, are you?

I think we are going to come back on Monday, which will give us enough time to pack the rest of the house, complete various quotes for various people before we dismantle the office, dismantle the office, pack everything else, and have another adoption meeting.

I am spending today lying down under the table with some nice, soothing wet newspaper over my face, because I am not going to have time to do so next week.

I know I mentioned that the lodgers were leaving tomorrow, but can I just say once again, the lodgers are leaving tomorrow! Strange how one never, ever has the urge to hoover naked until one absolutely can't.

Also, I have a batch of baby clothes bought in my moment of madness. They have no logos, are suitable for either a boy or a girl and are either 0-3 or 3-6 months. If you are, have, or know a baby who would like them, email me for my address and you can send me a SAE - they don't weigh very much. For some inexplicable reason I don't wish to examine too closely, I don't want to put them back on eBay and it's time for them to go.

Back Monday or Tuesday next week.

Thursday, 29 June 2006

politics again

Please take a few minutes to read this article, and to think about it. It is quite long, but it makes some interesting, and frightening, points.

Update: And I suppose I should have also said, THEN, go and visit Charter 88.

underground overground wandering free

It's a nice, sunny day today - therefore Cat Hating Neighbour has opened her back door and her radio is blaring out. I have left my back door open and have come upstairs to the office. Ah, the politics of boundary disputes! :).

We are ready to move.

  • Mortgage, searches and signed documents in place.
  • Insurance sorted.
  • Removal men booked.
  • Vendor DEFINITELY able to give us vacant possession on the seventh (after yesterday's 'oh, she might not be ready' scare from her solicitors).
  • 'To Let' sign gone up outside this house - we are probably the gossip of the street by now.
  • Kate and Vic coming to help me pack and take down shelves later on today.
  • Eastern European's moving out on Saturday. Yay!
  • B still at work. Lucky sod. Although he has been getting up at four thirty AM every day this week so far, so perhaps I have drawn the long straw this time.
I have decided that I am going to give the village a pseudonym. It's really, really small and I don't want to wake up one night to the smell of burning and realise that someone local has been googling themselves and found the blog. The Wicker Man scenario is a distinct possibility, despite my marital status. And of course, being barred from the local pub would be a disaster.

We have found a serviced office to rent near Birkenhead, in the same building as Marketing Guru. It rejoices in one of those ridiculous names that companies give buildings when they want to imply that they are in the middle of a prestigious development of buzzing city centre glass, rather than an ugly 1960's breeze-block construction behind the sewage works (which it isn't, actually, but you get the idea).

It is quite small, quite cheap and partly underground. R and I wanted a slightly larger, slightly more expensive, slightly more above ground one; with windows that looked out on something other than a steel security fence and a builders depot. But B put his Managing Directorial foot down, muttering assertively about overheads and cost control. It was quite exciting to watch.

The only, teeny, tiny hitch is that it's still being built. But there is a large basement that we can store our stuff in for a month or so; and in the meantime we'll manage by working from home - it's coming up to our traditional 'quiet period' now; although it's actually pretty busy.

We are all looking forward to having a separation between home and work. The business has outgrown a home office now and we are starting to need premises that will allow us to entertain clients. And also, we have a couple of new technicians lined up to start in September and it's not appropriate to have them in our personal space.

I am slightly hung over - some friends came round last night (*waves*) for a 'last one before we go' pizza and a few drinks. I need more tea before I can face Kate's packing frenzy.

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Wednesday, 28 June 2006

out of the mouths of babes ...

After the success of yesterdays spontaneous Flea Poem eruption, today's topic will be 'Centipede Haiku'. But no pressure :).

I baby-sat for the youngest god-child (just three) last night, while his mum and elder brother (five-and-a-half) went swimming. Eldest god-child and I had a bit of a chat when he came home, about moving to the country (apparently, when they move to the country, they are going to live near a rain forest); and about me and B having children who need a 'forever' mummy and daddy coming to live with us. He's very accepting of the idea, in that five-year-old way. But he did make a valid point:

Eldest god-child: Ally, when you have children come to live with you, you are going to have to get a television!
Me: Why's that?
Eldest god-child: Well, they aren't going to want to watch DVDs on your laptop, like you do, are they?
Me: Well, I thought I'd get a projector and throw the picture up on to the wall, nice and big for them.
Eldest god-child: [thinks] Well. You could do that.  But it might be better if you got a smart board.  You can play games on them, and everything.
Me: Dissolves in heap of logic.

This is the child who was asking me the explain the difference between gas planets and rock planets last week, and was quite happy with the concept of molecules.

Payrun beckons. Boring but necessary.

Tuesday, 27 June 2006

rock and a hard place

I rock!

I did the VAT return yesterday, submitted it and paid it and I didn't moan ONCE while I was doing it.

However, I did moan extensively whilst packing the twenty boxes of books that I appear to have collected over the years.

Kate is coming back on Thursday to help for another afternoon - I think that we are almost there.

Kate: Could you pass me that book on tantric sex over please?
Me: Urgle?
Kate: I think it'll go nicely in this little gap I've got in this box here.

Simpkin has fleas, despite the first of June's Frontline application. I know this because he came and sat on my lap this morning while I was having my breakfast, and one jumped in to my tea.

Monday, 26 June 2006

quick update

We took Kate and Vic out to see the new house on Saturday. Kate was determined to look round it, come hell or high water. So we phoned the vendor and asked her if that would be alright, and she was lovely about it.

Kate is coming to help me pack this afternoon. B has cunningly booked himself away on a job all this week ... .

Every room in the house seems to be full either of paperwork or Polish Washing Up. I am dealing with the paper and B has left our guests a stiff note re household hygiene. They have also used roughly a pint and a half of my virgin olive oil to deep-fry something-or-other in, and then added insult to injury by leaving the frying pan of used oil hanging round the kitchen since Friday night.

Got to get on with the paperwork ...

Friday, 23 June 2006

lists and things

Some mental notes to self:

  1. When you book a hair cut at the last minute and they can fit you in in half an hour, it is RUDE to forget to go back for the appointment
  2. Check the time in the morning before you start washing the kitchen floor in your bra (because you take your shirt off because it's got long sleeves you don't want to get wet). Your friend/colleague may arrive slightly early for work in your home office
  3. Check the room you are having your adoption meeting in for cat vomit before the adoption worker arrives
I think that about covers it.

Second 'proper' adoption meeting yesterday. It was quite unsettling for B; it was his turn to discuss his childhood, which involved his cousins emigrating to Australia when he was seven. The adoption worker was pleased that he spoke about it - she thinks that it will give him a good sense of what children being placed with us might have experienced in losing all their friends and family. And I brought up the whole date rape thing; we decided it was best to be up-front about it, and the issues it's caused me, early on. Our worker seemed to think that the way I'd dealt with it was very positive - I think, in a wierd way, that that will also count in our favour as a part of this process.

Next appointment, two weeks. I want to blog about this process, as it is such an enormous part of our lives at the moment - but I also obviously need to keep some of it confidential, so I am not going to tell everything.

Now we are going to look at some possible office premises. And this afternoon, B and I are meeting with our solicitor to look through and sign (!!!!!) some mortgage papers. The removal guys came round yesterday; we are waiting for them to get back to us with a quote.

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Wednesday, 21 June 2006

packing and backing

Palm House, setting upFirst, thank you everyone for the supportive comments on Friday. Much appreciated. I am back on form now - I think it was just the one last thing that broke the camel's back and my 'tilt' light came on. Re the firewall recommendations, again, thank you all very much. I am doing some investigating based on everyone's advice - I am liking the idea of a hardware firewall in the office and a software firewall on each laptop for when we are working out and about.

These are three pictures of the gig I missed on Friday - two of the inside of the Palm House at Sefton Park, Liverpool, during the set-up. And one of the outside after it got dark. It was apparently quite difficult to photo.

Palm House, setting upSecondly, rather a lot of things are going on. Good, exciting thing, but it feels a bit like an enormous roller-coaster.

1. Item. All three mortgages are sorted out. Most of the searches are back. We have a provisional moving date of 7th July. Two and a half weeks away. The house is filling up with boxes.


2. Item. Business has gone crazy.

We are moving the office out of the house and in to a shared space with various other companies. It has a cleaner! B is very happy, because it means that we will no longer have to make him empty the bin. There is a slight hitch in that it's not quite built yet; but we estimate two or three weeks. Which is convenient and ties in with us moving out of here.

We have loads of work on the horizon; Marketing Guru has really been doing the business. We are taking another permanent staff member and a three-month contract person on in September.

Palm House, lights from outside3. Item. I have sorted out my PAYE woes by handing it all off on to the accountant and investing in a different kind of book-keeping software. One that actually works. Which is nice.

Today, I am spending doing the VAT return and in between, loading stuff on to a second-hand laptop I have bought for Ma: "I suppose I should get one, dear. I keep thinking I'd like to Google things and your sister is so busy. I only want something that will go on the internet. And perhaps if it could run Photoshop, I could use it to do designs for my pottery.".

If anyone fancies popping round to help me pack, I have five gallons of Elderflower wine that I am prepared to barter ...

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Sunday, 18 June 2006

great wall

Doing some pre-emptive packing, and chilling out. Back in a couple of days.

And can anyone recommend a good firewall that will allow you to run a network?

I am about to sack Zone Alarm off - it was fantastic until update six point something, which suddenly stopped allowing all the PCs networked to the PC we were using as an internet gateway to access the internet. Which is very secure, but kind of defeats the object.

Friday, 16 June 2006

stream of invective

Blinkin' panic attacks.

I didn't make it out the door this morning, despite spending yesterday afternoon masterfully (mistressfully?) editing PowerPoint slide transitions and sorting out 'presenter view' on the three laptops involved.

Here's a question for you ... . Should I stop even TRYING to be a functional member of the business in this fashion? I can't be relied upon.

As it happens, in this particular case it doesn't have an impact - there are plenty of other people to rig and operate and B is a very good PowerPoint operator.

But one day, I will commit to something that *doesn't* have enough of our crew on to bail me out of the shit without our client noticing; and that will be that.

The whole 'dealing with panic' ethos is to keep plugging away at stuff you CAN do and once you're successful with that, move on to something else. Like, if you have a fear of heights, keep on going up to floor one of the multi-story carpark until you're comfortable looking over the edge; and then move on to floor two.

Difficult to do that with stuff like this though.

I was panicky about it last night and talked it over with B. We decided that it was better that I made a decision not to go then; rather than be making that decision at 5.30 AM this morning and getting really distressed and beating myself up about it.

So that's what I did - with the idea that if I *did* then decide to go, it would be a postive decision rather than a negative one.

Still not great, though. I have a crescendo migraine, my right arm isn't working very well and I am going back to bed.

Grumpy at myself, but not distraught probably sums it up.


Thursday, 15 June 2006

is this the way to amarillo?

Last night I dreamt that the adoption agency were going to assess my suitability as a parent by judging my performance of a song-and-dance routine. I was performing "Is This The Way to Amarillo?", on the very slippery tiles beside a swimming pool.

Clearly my subconscious has some concerns :).

In other news, I have just received a delivery of three dozen cardboard boxes, for the packing of our extensive library. I am determined to be a bit measured about this house move. Usually I end up spending the twenty four hours before a move dividing my time between throwing stuff in to boxes randomly and rocking and sucking my thumb.

THIS TIME, I am planning. I am pacing myself. I am going to throw things out BEFORE we move, rather than whilst unpacking the other end.

I am a business director of a growing and successful company.

I can write a business plan.

I can balance my books (well, kind of).

I can service my own car.

I can make my own wine.

You would therefore, logically expect me to be able to plan a house-move without too much stress, wouldn't you?


We have an all-day show/awards/dinner gig on tomorrow, in an enormous glass-house type structure. It is going to be very hot indeed; I am going out later to buy four litres of water per person and a large amount of snacks - we start rigging at 6 am and the punters leave at midnight.

Back Saturday probably.

Wednesday, 14 June 2006

one woman's rubbish is another woman's gold

Today, thanks to SheWeevil, I will be talking about my useless bits of stuff place and the useless bits of stuff that are in it.


Where to start.

I have a small Useless Bits Of Stuff Box beside the bed. It contains three safety pins, an adaptor to convert DMX cable from five pin to three pin, a massage thingy with wooden nobbles on and a bookmark.

I have a larger Useless Bits of Stuff Basket on top of the wine rack in the dining room, containing:

  • Various maps, mostly of the Leicester area but also including Watford and the Netherlands
  • A handbook for the Morris Minor Centre in Bath
  • Some old sewing patterns
  • Some old photos, including one of B's first girlfriend
  • A jiggly puzzle thingy that my sister gave me for christmas and I've not been able to do
  • Two retired cameras dating from pre-digital days
  • Some letters from Aunt Lucy in Ontario
  • A hanging thing that Crazy Tom brought me back from Africa
  • A recorder
  • A small wooden box with some old pound notes and francs in it, made by an Hungarian refugee in a camp in County Limerick during World War Two
  • A selection of dried up board markers
  • A photo album that refuses to keep the photos inside
  • Dust

We have an Antique Useless Chamber Pot on a shelf in the hall cupboard, containing:
  • A brass candlestick
  • A melted candle
  • A roll of gaffer tape
  • A thingy to attached your bike lock to your bike
  • Some rawl plugs
  • Two flat batteries
  • One of those foot things you put under bed feet to stop them marking the carpet
  • A small ceramic whale

I have a Genuine Useless Bits of Stuff pile on the coffee table in the sitting room, which largely contains back issues of New Scientist and bits of paper that are Too Important to Throw Away but aren't actually fileable.

None of this compares with the Aunt of a friend of my mother's, who had three bags under her sink, filled with string.

One was labelled "Pieces of string over ten inches long".

One was labelled "Pieces of string four to ten inches long".

And one was labelled "Pieces of string too small to be of any use".

I think this might be a good meme. Let us know in the comments section if you do it ...


Monday, 12 June 2006

happy monday

We've got an adoption meeting this morning - we've just been copying passports, driving licences, utility bills, marriage certificates and birth certificates.

Yesterday we went down to visit our new house, measure some things, examine sheds and hot water systems and generally chat to the vendor. We both really like her - she also introduced us to the next door neighbour - there is only the one - who seemed very nice.

It is very, very hot and heavy this morning. Last night's thunder doesn't seem to have helped at all.

The Lodgers were up at 5.30 to get to work at 7.30. I have just discovered a plate of half-eaten spagetti stashed in one of their cupboards. It's rather like living with Kevin and Perry, particularly since they rarely wash up.

I am miserable about Cat-Hating Neighbour. It has become more and more obvious that she is actually using the radio to attempt to harrass us - all weekend, she has been playing really loud Rock FM in to the back garden. Even when she is in the front garden. Particularly when she is in the front garden, in fact. But when she has visitors, she turns it down.

We are pursuing a policy of Non-Escalation.

I am going to answer some more questions, later on.

Friday, 9 June 2006

two good things

Two good things:

1. I have finally got the Virtual Herb Garden up and running - a big thanks to Mad Baggage and to Jamie for starting me off - any other donations of photo's gladly recieved. And please let me know if I've labelled anything incorrectly ... :).

2. House news. The valuation has come back on the new property. It's what we offered. No major major work needs doing. No work at all, actually. I have set the solicitor off on the searches today. Yay!

That is all

questions questions #1

I'm starting with what seems to me like the easiest questions first ... all of the ones yet to come are going to keep me going for a week - brilliant! Thank you everyone! These are with thanks to ditdotdat.

What is the worst electric shock you've had?
When I got trapped astride the cow-wire when I was eleven. Not nice. None professionally, though. So far.

Have you ever fallen off a ladder?
No. But my father once fell fifteen feet off a ladder through the roof of one of the greenhouses he was repairing, landing in a pile of shards and crushed chrysanthemums*. Can I claim a point for that as a kind of genetic disposition towards survival? He was seventy-three at the time and got up and walked away.

Have you ever killed an animal?
Yes. A few rabbits in the road that were half-dead. I've finished them off. And the summer I was sixteen I caught Charlie the Pet Chicken's head under the back door as I opened it and broke his neck. It was horrible. He squauked and turned somersaults for ages and there was nothing I could do. I've also helped take sheep to the slaughter house and assisted with the holding of coats while Pa wrung chicken's necks.

What is your position on the West Lothian question?
In brief? I think Lord Falconer is wrong (I often think Lord Falconer is wrong). The system as it stands in inconsistent. It probably doesn't matter which way it's resolved; but there should be consistency. I should also admit that I have not spent a great deal of time pondering the question before now ... .

Do you favour hand-coding html or do you use a design environment like Dreamweaver?
Hand-coding. Every time. I am a complete Luddite snob about it.

How many html tags do you know off by heart?
Ooooh! Quite a few. Probably more that I should admit to if I don't want to appear a complete geek. And I can write CSS from my head as well. Luckily B subscribes to the Doonsbury maxim "There's nothing sexier than a girl geek on a big coding run". I love him. :).

That's the lot for now.  I may have a weekend with the computer turned off.  If it's sunny.  You know - important garden-sitting to be done.

I had a big list of things to do today, but I seem to have lost it. B arrived home at about 4am. I have said that I will wake him up before Liam gets to the point where he needs to gloss the stairs and literally paints him in to the attic.

The East European Contingent got a phone call from their agency about half an hour ago and have gone off to work in a factory in Ellesmere Port for the day.

Unspeakable lack-of-Death-Metal relief.

* 'Chrysanthemum' was my first word by the way. That's what growing up on a horticultural nursery does for your vocabulary. On the downside, I could never get to the end of 'Day of the Triffids', without having nightmares about being eaten by giant orchids.

Thursday, 8 June 2006

nothing really

My brain has seized up. Sorry.

Still no real news on the moving situation - both remortgages are progressing fine, but the survey on the new place isn't back in yet, although it's been done.

We were supposed to have friends round for a meal last night, but I had a panic attack at the last minute and we had to call them off.

Cat-Hating Neighbour is still playing Attritition Wars with Radio One in the back garden.

Slovakian Lodger is still playing Death Metal, and thinks he might have to go home soon, as he hasn't found a job. Polish Lodger was out pounding the streets at nine this morning - he is much more motivated. And B spoke to his parents via their webcam and Skype last night, while he was calling them :).

Liam the Vegetarian Decorator is finishing the glossing and listening to Radio Four.

I am considering ear-defenders.

Help! Ask me a question in the comments that I can answer to make an interesting and well crafted post tomorrow!

Tuesday, 6 June 2006


I am having a bit of a panic.

Not about anything in particular. Just EVERYTHING in particular:

  • House buying
  • House remortgaging (x2)
  • Sarcastic Accountant's reference in relation to the above - we put down on the mortgage application form that we are self-employed. Apparently because the company employs us, we are, technically speaking, NOT self employed. But we own the company. So actually, if we own the company and the company employs us, we employ ourselves. He was a bit snitty about it, in his stuffy, Sarcastic Accountant, way. The mortgage people say it doesn't make any difference, though.
  • House full of death-metal fan boy-lodgers who want to constantly use the office PC - although I have had words and they are now confining their activities to before 8am or after 6pm, so no problem there, really.
  • Vegetarian decorators who want to discuss their Cat Bereavement Issues with me ALL THE TIME. Although they weren't really that fond of the cat. It was more their girlfriend's really. It was a girl's cat. And he likes more masculine cats. Which this one wasn't. So he's not that upset. Bless. But I didn't need to know the specific details of how it's corpse looked.
  • eBay. Oh dear. I needed a new sweater. And now I own two skirts, two shirts and a fluffy bolero thingy.
  • Choosing a new laptop for R. We need it to run a pretty high-spec graphics package that needs as a minimum an 'Open GL accelerated video display adaptor with 16M video memory'. Graphics is not my area at all, although I've done some research and now I at least understand what Open GL is. But I don't know which graphics cards use it and which don't. So any suggestions gratefully received.
  • Dust. The house is full of dust.
  • Chavs. The sun seems to have brought the street's chavviest family out in force. Three generations (or possibly four, it's difficult to tell) are basking semi-naked in the sunshine or running up and down screaming, depending on age and inclination. Nice tattoos, though.
I think that's about it. I keep having to remind myself to breathe.

I am now going to suggest to R that we go and have a nice cup of tea sat in the garden.

B has returned safely from the Belfry, not displaying too many signs of a hangover, and has toddled off for a meeting with a prospective client.


Monday, 5 June 2006

if this is raging against the dying of the light, lay me out now

This evening, I have decided that Death Metal is one of the reasons that I choose to no longer share a house with young men on a permanent basis, however polite they are.

Sorry Steg, I know that probably makes me a philistine.

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lodger farming

Because we've decided to move as quickly as we can, we are now snowed under with Eastern European chaps looking for lodgings over the summer.

Slovakian Lodger was supposed to be saying for six months or so. New New Polish Lodger * was staying for three weeks, until Original Polish Lodger's Friend and His Girlfriend arrived near the end of June **.

So I have arranged for Original Polish Lodger's Friend and His Girlfriend to go and stay with B's mum and dad (Kate and Vic) when they arrived. Kate and Vic are quite happy about this, because their current Australian Lorry-Driving Lodger *** is moving out in ten days. So that's a happy ending.

However, it leaves me with the guilt of making one Pole and one Slovakian homeless at the end of the month. Kate and Vic's neighbour also rents rooms, so I am going to put them in touch with him; after that, they're on their own.

Not my problem, really - but having made the commitment to Slovakian Lodger and now no longer being able to accommodate him, I feel rather a heel.

I am filing today. Oh joy.

B is still wrestling with the Belfry, but R is back from his holiday. We had an orientation meeting first thing this morning drinking tea in the sun in the garden. It was rather nice.

* New Polish Lodger left ten days ago for the bright lights of London
** I can draw a diagram of this if it will help
*** Arrived three months ago on holiday, also now looking for a job in London, they started renting a room out because they were so impressed with how we were getting on

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Sunday, 4 June 2006

cyber country-and-weston

Thank you for the flea-advice. I think we are going with the 'count how much money we have after the wierd first-slug (unfortunate word - they are HUGE) mortgage payments come out and they buy new ones if we possibly can' approach. *shudders and scratches*.

Apologies for not commenting, or indeed, reading anyone else's blog at the moment; I will be back in the cyberworld-proper next week I think ... when the boxes have disappeared :).

HOWEVER, good news!

The engineer came today and climbed the telephone pole opposite the house, declined a cup of tea and then phoned me from the exchange to tell me that in a couple of days, we should have a 2M broadband connection. Yay!

Also, I have met the Post Delivery Lady and had a conversation with the Bin Men. They were apparently running a bit late today, because they went a different route, just for a bit of a change. Bin Men in our old area could barely walk and talk at the same time, and if they could didn't really want to engage with you; presumably because they were all fed up with handling used needles and things; so it made my day. It's the simple things in life ... .

Yesterday we discovered that our open fire had a back-boiler. I found a leaflet from Dunsley Heating Appliances and did a little research. And then I phoned the incredibly helpful people at Dunsley, who recommended that I go away and fill it with water to see if it leaked - because if they have a fire lit underneath them when they're empty, it warps the plates.

We put four gallons of water in before it started to trickle out.


And today, the Removal Guys did a final run out from Wallasey with my plant pots, which filled the entire floor of their luton van - and then they went with B to collect the greenhouse that the vendor we bought this house from wanted to get rid of from her new house. Score!

I go to drink a glass of wine sat on the bench outside, and watch the buzzards.

faint miasma of happiness

It is sunny.

B has gone to the Belfry Hotel to do a conference until Tuesday.

Slovakian and Polish lodger have gone out to explore together.

I am gardening - B finished sawing up the railway sleepers and making them in to flowerbeds yesterday.

Weekends rock.

Friday, 2 June 2006

do I really want one of those?

Things people have said to me today that have made me smile:

"Would you like to try some Polish sausage?"

"The adoption agency have just phoned and confirmed that we are 'good to go' with the assessment, with a pause after we move house".

"When we move to Wales, I think we should buy an ice-cream maker"

girl stuff, and boys


My period's arrived with a vengence. I know I post about this regularly (well, every five or six weeks), sorry to be boring. B is bringing me a constant conveyor belt of caffinated and sugared beverages and I am slowing coming round.


On a note of relief however, Liam the Decorator (who I may now start calling 'Liam the Labrador') has called in and is not coming today, so we have a long weekend to regain our composure. A sad note for him though - he needs to stay at home as they have discovered their cat, that has been missing for two weeks, has been knocked down and killed. His girldfriend's distraught.

I am determined to upload the new company website by lunchtime. If you have some free time this afternoon and fancy trying to break it for me and I know you well enough to be sure that you are not an axe murderer who will come round and kill my sleeping lodgers, drop me an email and I will send you the URL. I have checked it at various screen resolutions using Firefox and IE on XP, but I would be pathetically grateful for feedback from other platforms. Just off to finish it now.

We have a new Pole by the way. He arrived at 8.30 this morning - should have turned up yesterday but his flight was delayed by six hours and he slept at the airport. Is it wrong to quite like having the house filled with polite young men?

More later, probably.

Thursday, 1 June 2006


Liam the Decorator is like a five year old - he asks questions ALL THE TIME and because we are paying him to make our house nice, we can't say 'Here, have a biscuit and go and play in the garden'.  Don't get me wrong, I really like him - but we've been trying to work and we both feel as if he has spent the day taking the top off of our heads and stirring our brains with a stick.

I have nearly re-vamped the company website despite that, though.


Briefly, because my glass of wine is calling ...

Our worker says that they normally put people's assessment on hold for three or four months after they move house, to give them time to settle in to their new community. That's the only hitch - everything else seems pretty straightforward.

Once they start you off, the assessment is supposed to be completed within eight months. Then you go to panel and are either cleared for adoption or not.  After you are cleared, they start to match you with children.  If you want a single girl-child, there's a queue.  If you want two or three boys, it sounds like they pretty much bite your hand off *.

It has therefore become imperative that we move ASAP. I've spent today speaking to everyone involved to see if that is possible. And it looks like it won't be a problem for the vendor - she has somewhere she can move to temporarily if her prospective purchase doesn't go ahead. And our mortgage is approved in principle, the survey should be back this week and the searches are underway.

I feel rather like I am on one of those tea-tray things that you go down icy tunnels on at a million miles an hour.


Oh. B has a man-cold. And last night I dreamt that I was rigging lights for the whole of the NEC in Birmingham with only Tom Baker to help me. We had to haul the lights up using his Doctor-Who scarf.

*Adoption Services, not the children.