Friday, 6 January 2012

Windy Blow And A Damsel In Distress

Well what a week that was!

I don't know about everyone else, but Wednesday night's bit of a draft and dribble of rain kept me awake most of the night. The top house lost a few ridge tiles, half of which were already missing after we had our last big blow ... some people don't bother with house repairs until it's going to be enough for an insurance claim, they only go as far as asking to borrow your ladder.

My neighbour's aerial escaped its moorings and we lost a slate. Grumpy is out on the front as I write - supposedly to assess the damage. This may take some time as he's chatting to all passers by ... whether they want to or not.

The 5th of January [yesterday] is the day I set aside for de-Christmasing the house. This is because:
  1. I'm never quite sure when 12th night falls.
  2. If I miss the odd items - yes I did, four decorative candles - they can be found and stashed away before 12th night is definitely, definitely up.
We don't want any bad luck this year. It's not like I'm superstitious or anything, but I don't do any washing on New Year's Day either.

Anyway, my near sleepless night went like this:
[twitter follower(s), please skip this bit, as you already know].

1.30am ... One soon to be ex-cat tearing around the house, demanding to be fed and her potty emptied, this would be more acceptable had I not done all this an hour earlier.

Roughly 3.00am ... The noise of several recycling boxes - thanks Amber Valley Borough Council for the crappy light weight, hold very little, flyaway plastic boxes - skittering down the street, stopping only briefly at obstacles - cars - got us both up. Grumpy went out and fetched our recycling back from the middle of the road. I opened the blind to watch the weather and we had a cuppa.

ZZZZzzzzzz.........zzz...............zz...............z ... we sort of dozed.

4.17am ... And I'm now wearing my very grumpy head ... An Asda lorry at their gate, waiting to be let in. The engine was running constantly. That stupid metal retaining wall they put in to hold back Pottery Lane reflects all the noise back to us.

4.59am ... They let the tw***ing lorry in, it took 23 minutes to unload then the next one arrived, at least it saved them opening the gates, closing the gates, opening the gates, closing the gates ... I should be grateful, but clearly I'm not.

7.35am ... Noisy arrival of the recycling lorry, they're up, everyone should be awake ... CRASH, clatter.


8.30am ... Phone call - damsel in distress ... 'I didn't wake you, did I?' ... 'No' was my truthful answer. The damsel in question is grumpy's number 1 daughter, she'd got no lights and wanted grumpy to talk her through checking the problem. I left them to it and went downstairs in search of coffee ... hmm, that's where we keep it now is it? I put the kettle on - oooooh, it changes colour [blue to red] - and made something vaguely coffee coloured.

Back in the boudoir/electrical repair shop we drank our, ahem, coffee which had all the qualities of sludge ... a choccie bikkie helped it down and grumpy lied to me about how nice it was; and then informed me that the electrical problem was not solved, he'd go after breakfast.

This meant that poor little old me was left to struggle downstairs with ten emptyish boxes, de-Christmas the front room - kitchen already done, that only took 5 minutes - and haul the now full [ok, I only did two] boxes back up to await their final destination to the loft ... on my own.

This IS normal grumpy father practice - I mean, on the one hand ... it's the middle of the morning and a damsel in distress has no lights, and on the other hand ... a woman with no real sense and little spatial awareness is balancing precariously on a chair taking down Christmas decorations. Which would you choose?

Yes, you're correct, a grumpy father would choose his daughter every time. This is as it's meant to be and I'd be appalled if he'd made any other choice ... even though I am the one teetering with a duster - might as well give things a bit of a waft while I'm up here - and one foot prodding fresh air in search of something solid to stand on.

I must say at this point, if number 2 daughter had phoned her dad for assistance, he'd have been out of bed and up there like a shot ... this is not because she's favourite, but that she'd already have taken the fuses out [and probably the fuse box off the wall] and would be on the verge of poking something with a screwdriver. She is very much a 'do-it-herself' type [like me, funnily enough], the sort of person who'd buy something that was never meant to fit what she wanted it for ... but it was a bargain. She'd then make it fit with ... saw, hammer, screwdriver, cable, paint, you name it, she'd utilize it, and the end result is always a masterpiece. So therefore, if she asked for help, it would be - by now - urgent.

I'm reliably informed that this isn't only fathers and daughters, it's also fathers and sons. I have one friend who - happy to help out anyway - told me that if their son phoned for anything, the answer would almost always be 'yes'. The conversation could go something like this:

Son ... 'Dad, do you think you'd be able to ...?'
Mr Grumpy ... 'Yes.'
Son ... 'Thanks.'
Mrs Grumpy ... 'But that's when we're supposed to be ...'
Mr Grumpy ... 'It doesn't matter, we'll go on that once in a lifetime holiday next year, my son needs me ...'

Anyway, back to this morning in bed - drinking properly made coffee - my grumpy informed me that we - WE - had got a day off. I told him I'd got a BIG pile of ironing to do [more than eight items is a big pile in my book].

'Oh ... have you?' ... 'You're meant to offer to do it' ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 'I'll do it if you want me to' ... 'Go on then, but you'd better start now if you want to get finished before dark.' [I've witnessed him iron one shirt] ... 'Oh, hang on. I've got the roof to repair'.

Hence one grumpy old man on the street with his binoculars ...


  1. Julie - Hi. :)
    'Real' men. don't iron shirts.
    No, they don't really.
    Why should I iron a shirt?
    1. It takes all that time setting up a thing called an 'ironing bored'!
    Yes, BORED.
    2. It costs hard earned pension money for the electricity to heat bloody iron!
    3. Most men will put more wrinkles int' said shirt than there was there originally.
    4. And .... who's goin to notice if it's covered up with - wooly pully?
    This is true....honest.
    My iron fizzled out years ago.
    Before that, I would attempt to press creases in my trowsies, covered in't damp Tea-cloth. I always ended up with bloody 'tram lines' at top!
    No, ironing is not for real men.
    Ask Grumpy.
    Lovely blog though. He,he, :)
    Nice of you to like my 'etchings'.

  2. Oi Bernard ;)

    Who says ironing isn't for real men? I bet it wasn't a woman. And thanks for that, grumpy is now strutting around saying 'I told you so' ...

    Not that he actually does any ironing, as you say we can't really afford the amount of electric he'd use.

    The only time I saw him iron [at the tin hut, 29th May 2005], it took approximately - standing up and sitting down - 40 mins to complete one short sleeved shirt. I do have 5 photos of this event [that's how I know the date]. Then he put the iron away, totally ignoring my stuff.

    I'm not sure why he took it upon himself to have a go, but I'd probably been moaning about having to do it and he'd be proving how easy it was ... or not.

    This ensures that I never seriously expect him to do anything more than get MY ironing board/bored out, and plug MY iron in ... for ME.


Be nice, I'm very sensitive.