Friday, 22 February 2008

Spending your money the English way!

Or at least trying to! Today we came up against the new order of 'Don't bother to use your initiative, you've already lost it!' syndrome and how very frustrating that is!

Being the organised people we are (and due to the inordinate waiting period between paying for your goods and actually getting a delivery date!), about a month ago we ordered and paid for two lovely, luxury model, brand spanking new beds from a well known furniture showroom. Oh what joy and celebration! The only problem - a very minor one the salesman assured us as he gleefully took our cash (debit card actually) - was that we couldn't give the correct delivery address since we had not yet confirmed the new rental with the estate agents. Now for those of my readers that live in the UK, I'm sure you all started nodding your heads wisely as soon as I mentioned those magic words 'correct delivery address' - be honest now, didn't you?

No problem said the salesman, just phone this number nearer the time and they will change it for you. Oh yeah right! Get real! Phoning the number was only the START of the right royal runaround we've just had these past two days! OK, for those of you who mistakenly thought that once you had bought and paid for your goods, you could pretty much expect to have use of them wherever you deemed fit - here is a valuable lesson in British Red Tape and The Circular Reasoning (or not, as the case may be!) Powers of Delivery Personnel. We are still reeling and the hubby says that "if the damn beds don't arrive at the right bloody address on Monday then he wants his damn &&**%£$""**&&%%%%£££ money back!"

Firstly - are you who you say you are? This is a VERY good question I suppose but quite hard to answer on the phone? Better, we thought, to go back to the store as suggested by the person on the other end of the phone, with receipt in hand and sort that one out there?

Next, do you have proof that you are legally the person living at the address you want the delivery changed to? A bit difficult this one since we haven't moved in yet but, yes, we do have the receipt from the estate agent for all those exorbitant 'fees' we had to pay out (per person!) for the credit check (we are paying the rent six months in advance anyway?) with the new address clearly PRINTED on it, will that do? Oh yes said the store manager with a happy smile as he faxed all this information directly from his store to the delivery department.

Oh NO, said the delivery department when they phoned again that night to inform us that this simply wasn't sufficient proof! So what more do you require said hubby with teeth firmly clamped? You need to go into the store with passport and sign an indemnity form and fax it to us said not now so chirpy delivery person! I will email you the form right now, this very minute, I promise!

Still no form this morning sighed hubby, I'd better phone them I suppose? Something like five phone calls later (and £8 in phone charges!!) the form has arrived - it has been dutifully filled in, scanned (with copy of passport) and emailed back to delivery person. my hubby says,

British bureaucracy gone mad!

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Some pubs I have known......

The hubby and I have started a new family tradition since arriving in these fair isles. Mostly this is due to a general disinclination on the part of himself, myself and the girl child to cook and a certain 'stir craziness' that the man in my life is suffering from couped up in this rather small apartment. It usually starts as a shopping trip to the local supermarket and ends up somewhere in the countryside at some quaint little wayside pub.

This week's find is the Lamb Inn in Hooe (absolutely NO idea how you pronounce that one!). This is, so far, one of the nicest and most pleasant pubs we have discovered. Set just off the road and surrounded by open farm land, it has the traditional look and feel of 'ye olde' English pub and an excellent menu with cheerful and efficient staff. Prices are reasonable and they do offer a special Sunday Roast Lunch (we plan to go back and try that too). A delight in every way and it comes highly recommended by the Jayne family for good food, attractive traditional surroundings and a pleasant and helpful staff.

We give it 5 stars :)

Saturday, 16 February 2008


Thank you Keith :)

Tagged hey? Mmmmm - let me think!

The rules are :

* link to the person who tagged you
* post the rules on your blog
* share six non-important things/ habits/ quirks about yourself
* tag at least 3 people at the end of the post and link to their blogs
* let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog

OK - I think I can manage this - lol
link to Keith - my favourite travelling rat
Rules? done!
Six totally unimportant and irrelevant details of my everyday life? see below!
1. I wear socks with cute teddy bears on them.
2. I am a chocoholic.
3. I eat too much cheesecake.
4. I have a nifty new pair of furry brown boots.
5. I have NEVER been able to touch my toes.
6. I hate cooking dinner!

newly tagged: Mutters
Krazy Blonde

Well that took longer than expected! Doesn't it always?

Here lies the body of...............??

They say a picture is worth a thousand words? Well this one is of the building site next door snapped from my balcony this morning! I say it is the jack hammer operator who has been mysteriously quiet since yesterday - and no, I didn't pay anyone!

Friday, 15 February 2008

In Praise of His Noodly Appendages!

A Prayer of Thanks!

Spaghetti! Spaghetti!

You’re wonderful stuff,
I love you spaghetti,
I can’t get enough,
You’re covered with sauce
And you’re sprinkled with cheese,
Spaghetti! Spaghetti!
Oh, give me some please.
Spaghetti! Spaghetti!
Piled high in a mound,
You wiggle, you wriggle,
You squiggle around.
There’s slurpy spaghetti
All over my plate.
Spaghetti! Spaghetti!
I think you are great.

(by Jack Prelutsky)

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Attack of the vicious blind eating Vacuum Cleaner!

Today I woke up motivated! Time to clean, and I mean REALLY clean the apartment - especially the kitchen which has been a trifle neglected due to 'lack of interest and be damned' syndrome! In some weird masochistic way, it was actually quite satisfying to scrub the stove, clean out the fridge and generally wash and scrub every surface - seen and unseen!

One of the strange things I have discovered since being in the UK is "Grey Fluff". This annoying substance seems to get everywhere which is quite a mystery to me considering that the apartment is pretty much a sealed unit and I have yet to figure out where the damn stuff comes from! Don't wash the floor for a couple of days and it looks like a Yeti's been moulting in there! Today's cleaning attack included a thorough vacuum of the kitchen floor before a good old wash and scrub (I have a nifty little machine to do that too!) and so there I was, cheerfully zooming around the kitchen with the vacuum when......OH MY GOD............

Some silly fool had left the blind strings draped over the floor. I suspect this was due to a lazy disinclination to properly wind them around that handy dandy little hook thoughtfully provided for the purpose? I promise, I never saw them - the first I realised I had a problem of serious proportions was a CLUNK, followed by the vacuum cleaner leaping up the wall with a scream of protest and a wisp of smoke curling out! Now I just KNOW I can hear you all yelling "SWITCH IT OFF YOU IDIOT!" and to be honest that was also my very first thought too, quickly followed by a realisation that in order to do that I had to get to the FOOT operated switch which was hastily getting out of reach as the vacuum voraciously ate the string and headed for the ceiling.

I lunged, the vacuum screamed and the blind protested - for a split second the world stood still. With a resounding crash I reached the off button at about the same time as the blind gave way and we all tumbled to the ground in unison. This wouldn't be so bad if this wasn't a rented apartment, with rented vacuum cleaners and rented blinds!

(and when I find out which lazy swine was the original cause of this drama, they'll be lucky to return at all!)

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

And so the saga ends......

I just HAD to give you all the ending to the printer and postage stamp saga! After all that drama hubby left here, letter in hand, to find a postbox. Missing the one at the bottom of the road, he figured there were bound to be lots on route to his appointment with the Accountant - no worries!

He ended up at the main post office in town! Like I said, quicker to have just bought a stamp :)

And just to print a stamp?

OK - so we have lift off! The printer is printing yet still the muttering continues............

And to think that all this angst was to PRINT A STAMP on an envelope to pop in the post? I can't help thinking (but definitely NOT saying!) that if he'd just jumped into the car and gone to the post office, the letter would be well on its way by now?

Ah well, I'm sure it will be a very useful thing to know how to do for the next letter we have to post! :)

(assuming, of course, that there is a letter box close at hand and we don't need to use the post office?)

The Mystery of the Incompatible Printer!

As I sit here looking out the window at the beautiful day, there is a muttering (getting louder!) in the background! Yesterday we bought a NEW printer, a printer of fabulous proportions and snazzy new colours. It does everything from scanning to photo printing, in fact it is a wonder to behold, a joy of modern technology and ergonomic design! The only problem is it refuses to be installed on the hubby's rather fancy laptop which operates on Windows Vista!

Now since it seems that every new computer comes with Vista as the operating system these days, it does seem odd that any new printer would not be compatible? He has entered the dark and dangerous waters of the Epson web site, followed the freely given instructions and downloaded the THREE different programmes required to ensure compatibility but still it refuses to comply!

Oh woe - is that yet another wail of despair I hear in the ether? Is that another diabolical and interesting description of Epson and printers in general I hear?

Isn't it wonderful to be part of this new and exciting Technological Age?

Monday, 11 February 2008

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

On the Balcony

Sitting on my balcony,
watching the slate gray sea.
I watch the seagulls flying high,
against the wind, above me.

Clouds race across the sky.
The mighty wind blows out of reach.
White horses in the breakers,
rearing and crashing on the beach

A sudden lull, a quiet moment.
Sunshine reflecting on water, broken.
Clouds ragged and breaking, racing
leaving only a small token
of the gray day behind.

Friday, 1 February 2008

A dozen interesting things about living in the UK.

It's been nearly a month since I arrived - here are a dozen things I have learned!

1. People crossing the road always wait until you're almost on the crossing before pressing the button.
2. Walking down the high street requires determination and courage if you want to walk in a straight line.
3. Dog owners only 'scoop the poop' if they think someone is watching!
4. It's impossible to tell whether an 'Emo' is male or female to a bemused observer.
5. Scarves always get caught in the car door when the wind slams it shut.
6. Seagulls always shit on our car.
7. Never go out without an extra woolly jumper - this moment's sunshine can be next minute's howling gale.
8. Smoking on a balcony can be hazardous to the people on the terrace below.
9. Don't assume that things or people work better because it's England - they cock it up here too!
10. Internet connections are frustrating no matter where you live.
11. Little old ladies in supermarkets should NOT be given trolleys!
12. Parking spaces are never wide enough to actually get out the car after you've parked.

Have a nice day! :)

Pastafarian and Proud!

It's official! I am now a practising Pastafarian of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

I found this wonderful new religion while browsing through the internet one bored and lonely day and spent a few giggle filled hours reading its history and its plans for a better and brighter future for the world. As a proclaimed Agnostic, I was hooked! I have yet to find a more sensible approach to the world's problems and so bow down to His Noodliness and offer my small and insignificant self in His service for the Greater Good and the Furtherment of Mankind.

Long live the FSM!

Psssst! If you want to know more about His Noodles, check out the link, top right on my tool bar :)