Monthly Archives: June 2006

Daft diversions

And weird adverts.

I just loved the following, spotted recently on some White Vans Near Us:

1) From a multipurpose 24 Hour Call Out plumber, handyman and general debunger. He (or she this being 2006 and all) can sort your leaks, unblock your drains, and more…! Can you just picture the scene at the old homestead in the wee small hours ?” “Hello? Hello?! Is that Drains R’Us? Yes? Sorry to disturb you but we’ve a chewing gum overflow situation here and the cat’s permanentally welded to the kitchen table. Can you spare a man? Yes? Oh, thank God! You’re my hero!”

2) A conservatory specialist promising quick service. ” Maybe in 6 days.” Like to see someone being honest about their ability to deliver!

And for even more daft diversions, do go over to Mr Miff’s cycleblog and read about Mt Ventoux, ingrowing toenails and antibacterial underpants.

Feeling distinctly old and mouldy

So, little change there then! Thanks to an ad spotted on a poster on the back of a bus in Godiva land last week, I’ve discovered (rediscovered) Classic Gold and have it playing in the background. And since I’m undoubtedly an embarrassment to my two teenagers, I might as well do it in style. Nothing like a spot of Status Quo to cheer you up on a Monday afternoon, and it’s less hazardous to the health than hitting the w (h)inebox. (Yes, afraid I collapsed in a tearful, budgie like heap again over the weekend). Sad I know. Still, it’s when I start blasting out Meatloaf at 100 decibels plus that you need to get worried.

It was blisteringly hot down here on Saturday -and I think it was this, the fallout after the funeral – which Mr Miff came back briefly for; he’s now safely back climbing evr’y mountain in France, too much packed into one weekend, and little help with it, that got me into a tearful panic mode. So much so that I decided to cut and run at a ‘Seabird’ meeting (can’t hold myself together in that state, and you can’t fall to bits amongst folk you barely know) and caught the train home.

Got back and went into misery mode before pottering round the house sorting stuff for Monday. Then having cleared the decks so that there was no need to go into church on Sunday morning, had a proper lie-in then. Even the dog slept on . And we enjoyed a run round the garden later. Well, Miffdog enjoyed the run; I sat in the sun in my night things with a cup of tea.

Picked up a bit by Sunday afternoon, and enjoyed rehearsing for and singing in special choral evensong to celebrate HM the Queen’s 80th. You simply can’t stay gloomy when you’re belting out Zadok the Priest! And if I say so myself, I’m quite impressed at my sightreading skills. Thanks in no small way to little bro’s ex-cathedral choir background. All those long, dreary hours spent in church as a teenager must have borne some fruit!

The good news (and I shall refrain from strangling Ms Miff! ;)) is that she not only passed her course, and project, but passed, with DISTINCTION! Gaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! (Counts grey hairs). Though I gather that if she’d not done that all nighter, it might have been a very different story. Phew. She’s off over in the other town clearing her flat; the advantage being that she’s also tidied our loft so that she can fit all her stuff in it.

And, I WAS quite impressed – if slightly alarmed – at her final project when I saw it at exhibition last week. And so might you be if you had a close encounter with a depressed looking rag doll with removable entrails, as I did. These odd (very odd) insights into one’s offspring’s psyche can knock you off guard. More on that another time, maybe.

Non aux Ours!

Mr Miff has been in the wars! Read all about it over in Mr Miff on Tour.

Back chez Miffy, we’ve had a few more disturbed nights with Miffdog’s gippy tummy, but none as ghastly as Monday. He’s a lot better, and is enjoying the personal attention and gourmet cooking immensely. (After an initial 24 hour fast, a three day diet of home cooked chicken and rice was prescribed!). He’s also rather more slimline than before. Almost a chipolata rather than a merguez.

Ms Miff is hot, cross, and still hasn’t had her results yet. It would also appear that she and the BF are no longer an item (her doing) and most of her other friends are still away at uni. However, she’s had several invites this weekend, and is out tonight at a BBQ – hence has cheered up slightly.

Not so here, I’m afraid. Although the lovely sunny weather here has helped lift my mood a fair bit; I’m ashamed to say that last night with both Mifflets out galliavanting – and with nothing more sociable on the horizon than the enticing prospect of the ironing mountain or changing the cat’s litter tray I decided to indulge in a pity me session, and ended up in a snivelling heap. Probably not helped by me hitting the bottle (or rather the winebox) earlier. (Typically, next weekend is quite booked – though perversely, not much of it is stuff I’m particularly looking forward to).

I suppose it helped, (the snivelling not the wineboxing in case you should get totally the wrong idea) as I felt much much better this morning, and set off with a neighbour to a womens’ breakfast at our church. Topic of the morning – Depression. Not the kind of theme to leave you in a strong frame of mind exactly, but pretty helpful nevertheless. As so many times before, it’s astonishing to discover how many other folk are in the same situation either themselves or with relatives, yet rarely if ever mention it. Why oh why do people put up such a front and so rarely let others get a glimpse behind it to what’s really going on? I’m the last person to advocate going around with your emotional entrails permanently on display, but speaking personally, I’ve sometimes found far more of Christ when people come out from behind their religious ‘masks’ and been ‘real’ than ever I have in any programmes, talks or ‘Christian’ activities.

Ah well. Too much thinking for me at this time of night. Here endeth the rant.

Apologies for the break in transmission

And a quick run down of the events of the last week:

Tuesday – With deadline for submission of Final Major Project looming, Ms Miffy panics and throws a wobbly.

Wednesday – BF having persuaded her to talk to tutors, Ms Miff stays up all night working.

Thursday – Having been told by tutor that if she can write some reflections explaining the gaps in her work, she might just scrape through and avoid being put on referral. She stays up all night, working.

Friday – As I leave for work at 4.45 a.m. I bump into Ms Miffy who by now has written around 12,000 words.

Friday morning – I bump into Ms Miff on the train and learn that she’s turned out a magnum opus of thesis like proportions – 16,000 words! She appears ever so slightly incoherent as well she might.

Mid morning – I arrrive in Godiva land and proceed to sister in law’s new care place. After a long chat and having passively smoked at least 10 cigarettes, I leave for (according to taxi driver) short walk over to MIL’s care place.

20 minutes later – I appear to be approaching open countryside. I’m lost. A charming old gentleman tries valiantly to point me in the right direction – down a charming (and long and windy) country lane

30 minutes later – give or take – and after an interesting ‘stroll’ through the Warwickshire countryside with periodic jumps into the hedgerow to avoid speeding motorists – I see a pub looming up in the distance like an oasis. I enter oasis – order half a Strongbow and beg directions from nice barman

Nice barman directs me the pretty way – over the fields. Five of them… En route I’m assaulted by a friendly horse who is set on sharing my Pringles

Finally arrive at MIL’s sweating profusely – my 24 hour deodorant failing dismally to live up to its promise. I also appear to have trodden in something smelly somewhere along the way.

Agitated looking manager appears at window before I’ve even had a chance to ring the bell and ushers me into office. Informs me (amongst many other disturbing facts) that MIL is not eating and looks set to be heading towards another breakdown. Are trying to get hold of CPN for assessment.

Visit to MIL confirms all that manager says. A couple of hours later I leave and am again ushered into office. More staff now. We restablish contact details. I mentally begin to ponder rearranging my arrangements for the next few days. Should I stay on? Do I call Mr M back to the UK? And so on.

Taxi to station where meet ‘Ship’ person for quick cuppa. A lifesaver, especially as train is jam-packed and my 24 hour de-odorant is again put to the test as I stand elbow to elbow with fellow passengers all the way down the line.

Saturday – Phone home. Situation pretty grave. Awaiting arrival of CPN on Monday. Looks as if MIL is set to be admitted to local mental health unit.

Sunday – Agitated phone call from MIL to tell us that her younger sister died earlier in the day. Pick up message from her neice to confirm this. Head starts whirling round, rearranging arrangements etc…

Monday – The big push for little M. Two weeks of GCSEs and he’s starting the world’s worst cold.

Another agitated phone call from MIL – over small admin matter which staff of home are dealing with. After call, take dog for walk in lovely sunshine, plant out prize winning sunflower seedlings and herbs.

Tuesday in the wee small hours – Miffdog will not settle to sleep. After 2 hours of trying every solution known to man, Ms Miff, in despair, wakes me at 2 a.m. Actually I’ve been largely awake since 12 anyway…worrying about MIL, and arrangements to fly Mr M back home. She staggers off to bed, whilst I try every solution known to man…. At 3.30 a.m. admit defeat, get dressed, make breakfast and doze sitting on bed for an hour before getting ready to leave for work. Hope that little Miff at least has had some sleep.

8 a.m. Drag self back from job number one – with worryingly scant memory of how I made the journey. Phone Job no 2 babble incoherently and excuse self. Collapse and sleep…..

Afternoon – Call MIL’s care place. Absolute astonishment! Today MIL has got up, dressed, had her hair done, and been down to eat her lunch. CPN has called and it’s been arranged for her to visit the local day hosp in a week or so for assessment.

Ms M and I book flights for Mr M. He’ll come back for a couple of days for his aunt’s funeral next week, before flying out again.

Evening. Take self out to listening course. Timing rather appropriate, don’t you think? I’m impressed at my powers of concentration considering. Though aftertwards I begin to go all incoherent….

And so to bed…. Have been asleep a couple of hours when…yes, you’ve guessed it! Try every solution known to man etc…and after that close bedroom door and ignore the poor thing. By the time I leave for work, all is quiet.

On return from work bump into migraine struck Ms Miff coming the other way. After I left, guess what?! She tried every solution known to man etc… mopped up pile of sick and mopped fevered brow (hers).

Ring vet. Mop up another pile of sick. Take dog to vet where he patiently puts up with needles being stuck in him, blood being taken, temperature being taken (I’ll spare you the details) and anal glands being expressed. (Again, I’ll spare you the details) Looks as if it’s probably just a tummy upset but blood taken for testing of pancreatic function, just in case. One positive – Miffdog has lost weight. At 15Kg – we checked to see he had ALL four legs on the scales, he’s down to normal for his breed.

Home, where Miffdog collapses in basket, Mother Miff collapses in armchair, and little Miff collapses on sofa for last, minute revision for afternoon’s exam.

Phone rings. It’s a proud Mr Miff from atop the 1,540 m Col de Soudet in the Pyrenees. All in one go. No stopping!

Ms Miff arrives home. Takes little Miff’s place on sofa.

Nobody can say that life’s boring round here.