This has to count as one of the strangest weeks on record in a life that doesn’t have to look far to find strange.I don’t think I’ve answered a telephone nor made a phone call in about 6 years but nonetheless to have the internet I have a phone line and while I have a phone line my wife would talk. The calls I usually get are to remind me I haven’t claimed my free boiler yet,it’s someone asking if I’ve had an accident in the last 5 years or my personal favourite(not). asking if I’d like to claim against the banks for a refund of the insurance they made me pay on loans. I warn you now call centres, if I becomme God next week I’m banishing automatic dialling machines. Anyway, on we go.
Sunday. MiRo left early this morning as another trip to Manchester airport was needed to collect one of the Canada stragglers. Hankie in hand and tear in eye I waved them off before settling down to the morning messages. At lunch time I had a bing meal and settled to watching trash films on the TV and fiddling with my phones. The new sim card went in the old phone nicely and I’m back to working but have to wait until during this week to see what the old provider says about unlocking the iphone 3 properly.More mail late afternoon and evening just to keep me going.
Monday. I was working on my morning mail when the front door opened and my nephew appeared unexpectedly. He handed me a box and trooped out again leaving the door ajar. The box proved to contain a small turbo-vac for doing my keyboard which means my supply of biscuit crumbs will now be made to disappear.David re-appeared with pack of loft boards and in fact had 3 packs with him along with another fabulous walking stick as a gift. I had no idea my loft was to be boarded yet but I had no appointments and so was able to help- if locating and unfolding the ladders can be construed as thus.Fair play though, I did pass a pack up to him to the delight of the surgeon who will deal with the hernia.Perhaps it would have made more sense to open the pack and pass a piece at a time? We worked for a while or to be more accurate he worked, I chatted, until lunch time approached and I went to buy some SALAD sandwiches.The last of the rubbish out of the loft after lunch and David looked for a suitable place to start laying. It seems there are a lot of pipes and wires up there which lie over the rafters rather than under or through them. He found a spot and laid the first one, drilling holes to take the screws. The second he had to use a jigsaw to create space for a few wayward wires. The third he used both tools and I heard him call down about a funny old phone junction box he’d found. ” A strange place to put it” he said. He left about 3 pm after tidying up and I did’t realise till he’d gone that he’d taken a large bedspread (Comforter?) with him I’d put on one side.Ah well, accidents will happen. I went to catch up on my emails but found the internet not working. This happens so was annoying rather than worrying.I turned the internet box off and went to watch a bit of TV. I got wrapped up in NCIS then The Mentalist and didn’t return to the computer until 6 pm. Still no joy so I texted Yvonne and asked her to check if my ISP had any problems in the area. I received a text back asking if I’d answer the phone if she rang. I said OK and waited.Next text “Why aren’t you answering?” My response “Because it isn’t ringing.” and the penny dropped.
Tuesday. A knock at the door early this morning brought a delivery. I’d ordered some books as Christmas gifts including some for Reuben, not that I’m expecting him to be reading by then. I started to pull them out of the box and checked them against the invoice. Most were OK but one set of Reuben’s were missing though kindly they had included an alternative- A set of Romances. Call me awkward but I didn’t think he should be reading that kind of thing yet.So, when Yvonne and Reuben arrived late morning I pulled her to one side so he wouldn’t hear- difficult as he was being carried in a papoose sling-and asked her to phone them. As usual I expected problems of understanding people from a call centre based i a far flung corner of the Empire. It turned out to be a pleasant young lady from Bangor about 50 miles away.She quickly apologised, offered to put the missing books straight in the post and told us to keep the romances or donate them to charity if I preferred. Well Done ‘The Book People’. This was no casual visit by Yvonne. I had an early afternoon hospital appointment followed by an appointment in the surgery and when Der Fuhrer says I’m going, I’M GOING ! We caught a bus into town and went for lunch at ‘Kassidy’s’ which some of you may recognise from my books. I still have to take chocolates in for the staff to stop them suing me.Lunch was great, only interrupted by the sight of Reuben’s face changing colour as he filled a nappy. Since we didn’t fancy a manslaughter charge we took our leave and Yvonne went and changed him elsewhere which shall remain unnamed. The hospital appointment went well and I’m told I won’t be called back again but can get another appointment only if I feel I need to.That left just the surgery which surely would be as easy.I had thought I was going just to collect some antibiotics and have my BP taken and since I was given new meds (which I got Monday) as a result of the last one, I expected a change. I entered the room and was greeted by the Sister holding the sphigmomnometer like a noose. She only wrapped it round my arm though as she reminded me my 6 monthly chest check up was a tad overdue last year. That helped as my BP is now 180/100. We got down to the flow test where you blow through a tube for a series of tests, they call them a battery of tests cos’ that’s what it feels like just without the assault. I strained to do the first blow and she said I could start anytime I liked ( no-one likes a smart arse). Things only went from bad to worse until at the end she remembered I usually don’t do that particular test as I have unstable angina. Anyhoo, I did leave with a prescription for antibiotics which I’ve decided I can take when I think I feel they’re best needed. Home again on the bus with me still trying to catch my breath and we all waited for Ugo to finish work and come to fetch his family. He arrived with a chip shop meal for tea and I had to eat another ‘Healthy’ meal following my choice of bacon sandwiches at lunchtime.We had a good natter before they all let and took Reuben for his bath.
Wednesday. Another boring day with no internet. I decided to look at my variety of catalogues and think about ordering Christmas gifts. I actually made good progress I thought. At lunchtime I made myself a bing meal of braised steak and mash with a tin of peas and carrots. It was very nice. After washing up I settled back down with the catalogue until an episode of The Mentalist came on and I urged Patrick Jane to catch Red John.The rest of the evening passed in a blur mainly because I think I was inspecting the insides of my eyelids.
Thursday. An early knock on the door brought the telephone engineer who told me he had some checking to do outside.He was a nice man and I didn’t want to argue- mainly because I have enough of a problem just talking to strangers. Anyway, I left him to it. After an hour he said he couldn’t find a fault on the line outside but he couldn’t check the roof connection as they’re not allowed to walk on roofs. Before I could suggest investigation inside he told me he’d ordered a cherry picker which would take an hour to arrive so he could check the pole which was askew.I wondered if. it was possible the fault could be there and crossed my fingers.In the meantime, he was going to the local exchange to check things there. The hour or so passed and another knock. No, there was no fault with the pole despite his equipment showing an outside fault. He spent a long time checking the box on the wall before finally asking if he could access the loft. Gulp. Within a few minutes he asked if anyone had been up there recently and I had to say yes. Up came the loft boards and there lay the connection box smashed under the board and the panel broken with disconnected wires. “Someone made a mess of this” he told me,” but I think I can fix it”. Half an hour later it was done and by about 3 pm my internet was back ad I was attacking emails. At 5 pm I broke off for tea and came back to find it had gone again. Grrrr, in frustration I texted Yvonne and had her look online to see if my carrier had problems. The answer was no again so back on her phone she went to the call centre which was staffed by the most polite people with the worst accent to understand in the world. She became more and more frustrate as they asked a question and she answered, then they’d repeat her answer to her and ask a new question. She’d answer and they’d come back and repeat both answers until she was having 5 or 6 previous answers repeated back to her. The next step involved me lying face down on my floor as instructions were dictate from India to Yvonne and from she to me to unscrew the junction box and plug the phone jack into the empty test socket inside. This would have been followed to the letter had their actually been a test socket inside. I gave it a good rattle to check and screwed it back together full of disappointment. India assured us we would be placed with a priority crew. Five minutes later the whole kit and caboodle started working again. I ploughed into the remaining 731 messages.I didn’t sleep much but who cares, the internet is back !!
Friday. I unpeeled my eyelids and decided to wash and change before the arrival of my visitors. MuJo were coming and I had another bag of Christmas goodies for them after Monday’s visit to the loft.I managed to get my morning mail dealt with before they arrived and I made drinks. We decided to have lunch at Kassidy’s and I got the
bribe chocolates ready. They were surprised to see me again so soon and I got a lovely hug and welcome from Sheryl. We all ordered pork roast dinners and it was fortunate that a new member of staff served them as John’s first question was “Is this a child’s portion?” Had it been Sheryl, he might have been wearing it. We ventured into a little shopping later where I was able to make even more headway with Christmas, finding a nice fleece for Muriel. We sat down with a coffee afterwards to relax and Muriel asked if Mike was visiting for the weekend.I was just about to say I’d text to find out when in he walked and with a funny knee gripping limp and a wave went straight past me. Rose followed a minute later and asked whether he’d made it to the loo. We all chorused that we hoped so.Rose drew up a chair to join us and I ordered drinks.The staff in Temptations are wonderful with service and well worth their chocolate gifts too. At home later MuJo left ad I left Mike trying the iPhone while I did more mail. After an hour I’d done but he was no further on so I made them a meal and we ad our usual evening of insults.
Saturday. By 8 am Mike and I were off shopping.By 10 am we’d finished and were on our way back to unpack. That accomplished I put a load of washing in, Rose got her coat on and we set off to show her a little more of Wales.First stop brunch which somehow ended up being not in the least bit healthy or diabetic friendly but was delish !From there we went to an Antique centre in a deep but beautiful valley in the Vale of Clwyd.We had a great wander and every time I drooled Mike dutifully wiped my chin and reminded me I couldn’t afford things.From there we went to an outlet place hoping for inspiration. We had a cuppa, forced Mike to walk round the Christmas decorations which Rose and I commented on while Mike sulked yet guess who was the only one of us to make a purchase. Round the gift hop I bought a commemorative spoon with 2013 inscribed to remember Reuben’s birth. Home by a different route and as usual I abandoned my guests to get my emails done. Only 98 this time.We watched a couple of NCIS episodes after tea before I nearly died- without Mike’s hands round my neck- having a nasty angina attack and he nearly died- without my hands round his neck- having difficulty catching his breath which seemed to be making a rapid escape from his body.We both had the appropriate sprays and responded well enough to get back to insults.
Hoping You ALL have a wonderful new week.