Hi! Come in, it’s so nice of you to visit. Excuse the mess! If I had known you were coming I’d have tidied up (hid some stuff in cupboards to appear tidy). You tried phoning my mobile? It’s been broken for a week so I’ve no phone. I’ve not missed my mobile; well only in the bath. I like browsing in the bath (looks uncomfortable). Let’s sit in the living room, the kitchen is always so dull in the morning. Tea or coffee? Tea, fine. I was in Spain last week and couldn’t get a good cup of tea. Rarely get a good cuppa abroad. I should write a blog on the proper way to make a good cup of British tea. Here you go. Yorkshire tea is the best for builders tea (strong tea). Let’s move through to the living room. Ah you like my armchair. It’s one of the two things we brought back from my mother-in-laws house after she died. (sister-in-law and family members swooped in on everything else). The chair is a good squishy leather one. Looks a bit lost sitting alone by the wall though. I gave another sofa away recently. It didn’t go with the corner one. The corner one doesn’t go with the room shape but I’m not buying another one so it’ll have to do.
You think I’m lucky to have a big Victorian house? Have you seen my heating bills? Oh and the maintenance. Those pretty Ceiling Roses and Archways can lose their charm when you’re spending yet more money on roof tiles and plumbing. Ok, I realise I sound spoiled. I AM lucky to have a nice house – most folk around here are in the 1940’s council houses (and there’s nothing wrong with that). Recently though, I’ve started to wonder why we need such a big space for three of us. I like those small house programmes on the telly. I’m getting fed up having so much stuff, and cleaning and general maintenance. My bathroom has sat like this for a year. We were skint and busy but I’ve no excuse now.
Our next door neighbours (and much loved friends) moved last week. The family had lived in the house for 44 years. I’m going to miss them. There are six of them + dog and they’ve moved to a smaller place. It’s too small for them all and it has an extension that looks like a 1970’s community centre. They’re happy though and we had fun at their party on Saturday night. The ambience was different – you can now hear all the children through the walls and some of us had to stand whilst eating. I’ll miss the impromptu parties we were invited to next door, and popping in for a chat. My neighbour once delivered Gin to my back garden when I was in the bath and wanted a nightcap. Last year we sat in my hot tub until midnight on a school night. I’m going to miss them. The new neighbours seem nice though. We handed in a bottle of Champers and a card to welcome them. Another house with three generations, but only four people this time. I wouldn’t want to cross the granny though. I can tell she could be fierce.
I’ve been talking a lot and sorry if you’ve starting to drift off. I hate it when people talk and talk and never give you a chance to talk. Sorry? You’re only here to read the meter?! Oh my, I’m sorry to be taking up your time! You want to finish your tea though? No problem, take your time. What do I do for work? I’m a Childminder for before and after school kids and also go to college part time. Yesterday I read the school newsletter and guess what? They are starting a free breakfast club at the school. Oh, and several after school clubs. I’m feeling a bit worried about losing my children to the school now. I have another year of college and need to be working with children to complete it. I could do voluntary work but… oh, I don’t know. It’s all up in the air and there’s no point in worrying about it. I still have no clue what I want to be when I grow up anyway. Do I like college? Honestly, no. I don’t. It’s not that it’s difficult, but it’s time consuming and I lack motivation. I’m currently due to hand in two 2,000 word assignments and I haven’t started either of them. I need to start today. The lecturer was off sick last night. I’m worried she’s not coping with all the marking and deadlines and she abandons us. We’ve only six weeks left of the college year.
Your tea is rather sweet? I’m sorry, I think I may have put Coconut milk in by mistake. You see, I’m considering becoming Vegan and I’ve been trying out some Dairy free alternatives. The Coconut milk is lovely. Soya Yogurt – not so much. I haven’t eaten any red meat since the Foot and Mouth Crisis back in 2001. Jeez, that’s 16 years ago. Where does the time go? I felt guilty about the treatment of the animals, then I read ‘What’s on Your Plate’ and felt worse. I began eating Chicken and Turkey again a few years ago and I’ve never given up on fish. I know, I know. Chickens and Turkeys have an awful time of it, ditto farmed fish. No, I’m not a vegetarian and yes, I am someone who often has to bring along her own food to BBQ’s. People judge when I discuss my food preferences. I know I’m full of contradictions but it’s my business, isn’t it? I prefer not to discuss it with them. Anyway, I’m feeling very sorry for the dairy cows, the baby boy calves, the baby boy chicks and generally have a bad taste in my mouth about much of what I eat. I love eggs though. I wonder if chickens would be quiet in the garden? Hmm.
What else is new? Well my husband has been coping ok with the death of his mother. So much paperwork from banks, lawyers, funeral directors and so on. A distinct lack of Grievance Cards though. Do people not bother sending those anymore? Here’s a tip: people who are grieving like to receive a heartfelt card of condolence. She did get a good turnout at the funeral though. So my husband spent a lot of time scanning, telephoning and writing letters and needed that Spanish holiday last week. Just before it, he thought he was having a heart attack but it was a false alarm. We have to sell his mums house now and we’ll be due some money. I want to pay off most of the mortgage. Husband thinks he’s going to die young and wants to spend most of it. He bought a convertible but after a service he discovered it was a disaster underneath and returned it. The garage resold it! He’s also looking into weekly flying lessons. The cost – £200 a session. As I said, I want to pay off the mortgage. Perhaps I should just take up an expensive hobby and blow it instead?