Wednesday 28 November 2007

All I want for Christmas...

You'll be delighted to hear that Ship of Fools have revealed this year's Christmas Kitsch list (the Twelve Days of Kitschmas). This annual revelation seeks to bring you the very best in tacky Christian merchandise, and is well worth checking out if you're stuck for ideas for presents this year.

And there truly is something for everyone.

For HM Revenue and Customs, for example, there's the Virgin Mary USB key, made from finest quality see-through plastic, with a light-up sacred heart inside and a halo with the inscription 'Oh Maria, keep my data safe'. (For those who are fortunate enough to live somewhere else and are therefore unfamiliar with the UK government's latest demonstration of its own incompetence, please see here).

For teenage boys (always hard to buy for), why not order a bottle of 'The Pope's Cologne' - recreated from the personal recipe of Pius IX, it renders the wearer infallible with the ladies.

You name it, they have it: thongs of praise, coffin calendars, teddy bear urns...

At the bottom (and sinking fast) of my personal wish-list though, is an item I found in the archives. If I die, please don't do this to me.

Tuesday 27 November 2007

Q&B: The End

Well, it's finally over. After a 45 minute flurry of activity on Friday, the kitchen is finally installed and nice and FINISHED. If there's a tear in your eye, know that you're not alone.

On the plus side though, no one else turned up, so the building saga remains.

I almost had a new saga, with a certain bank, when I thought that they'd overcharged me for exceeding my credit card limit, but, no, it seems they do actually charge £22. Ah well.

Friday 23 November 2007

A Big Day

So today is a Big Day. I should have 3 sets of people at my house:

1. The floor man (Kieron and assistant)
The floor men were there yesterday and put the flooring down in my kitchen and new room, and very nice it is too. But they have to come back today to finish it off.

2. The Q&B man
I know!!! You're all aghast - the Q&B tale may finally be over. New doors are arriving today and being fitted. It's almost disappointing that this could be the end.

3. The electrician (Trevor)
Coming to fit the shower screen. Yeah, I dunno why I need an electrician for that either.

So it is to be hoped that they all turn up and don't get in each other's way and that it is all lovely and wonderful. I will let you know.

Monday 19 November 2007

On the return of WhyNotSmile, an update on the building work, and the post you missed because I was sick

I'm back. I felt ill indeed with my stomach flu; I won't go into details, but suffice to say it wasn't pretty and I was VERY glad to have a plumbed-in bathroom. Of course, when I started vomiting, I did what all self-respecting 29 year-olds do in such a situation, and phoned my parents. They came and took me to their house and I had the nicest week I've had in a long time, being in bed and waited on hand and foot, and not having to go to work.

So, you'll all be thinking 'oooooh, 2 weeks since she blogged, how much the building work must have progressed in that time, there will be Stories To Tell', and of course you'd be wrong, because the builders all got the flu as well, and succeeded only in grouting the bathroom tiles. On the other hand, just before I got sick, and just after the last time I blogged (apart from the one telling you all I was sick), they actually came and connected up the heating.

Also, there was an entry I didn't get round to posting, and it went like this (please transport yourself to not last Saturday but the one before so that this makes sense):

How embarrassing. I came home from work yesterday to discover that the plumbers had fitted a new radiator in my bedroom. And that all my teddies (Cat, Elephant and Gordon) were on my bed, and not down the side of my bed, which is where they had been when I left.

There are 2 possibilities.

One is that they were scared of the plumbers and made a break for freedom at an opportune moment, but didn't quite make it and flopped onto the bed in defeat.

The second is that the plumbers were poking around and found them down the side of the bed and fished them out and lined them up on the bed on purpose (note that they would not have needed to go near the bed in order to fit the radiator).

And I think it's more likely that the second possibility is what happened, and so I am now embarrassed.

Wednesday 14 November 2007

WhyNotSmile is sick

WhyNotSmile is sick. Blogging service will resume as soon as possible; for now, she is watching much daytime tv and sleeping a lot.

Friday 9 November 2007

Who is Espero?

Incidentally, I love it when I find a site that links to mine. But who is espero and how does she know me? I have my suspicions...

She writes a mean blog, mind.

Yesterday afternoon

So yesterday afternoon work was a pain and I was a bit late leaving and then the traffic was just chaos so by the time I got home it was a lot later than I would've liked, and the plumbers were still there because their car had broken down, but at least they'd been, although there is still no heating, and I had to make them coffee and then run round to get ready for homework club, which I really couldn't be bothered going to, but I went and struggled up the road in driving rain and biting wind, and there was a new student there and he just couldn't get the hang of how to work out what 1 kg of carrots costs when you know what 2 kg of carrots cost, and I couldn't think of any other way to explain it and then I went through it again and suddenly it was like a lightbulb came on and his face brightened up and he knew he'd learned something and then my day felt a lot better and I realised what I love to do.

Thursday 8 November 2007

In which it is revealed that the plumber has other things on his mind, and several recent issues are resolved

You'll be delighted to hear that the plumber who went to Thailand to find a wife succeeded, and consequently has not come back (this man is 60 years old, by the way. 60 years old). There was a second plumber (you wait 2 months for a plumber, and then 2 appear at once), but he broke his arm, so he couldn't come either.

However, a third plumber has now been begged into coming, and according to reliable reports (my dad, who is watching his every move), is currently attaching radiators to walls in my house. There is even a suggestion that the radiators might be connected to the boiler as early as tomorrow, although, based on previous activity, I'll not be inviting you all round for a tropical-themed party on Saturday night just yet.

They have also tiled most of the bathroom, and even had the sense to do the important bit first (round the bath).

Anyway, it looks like we might be seeing a finished house within the next week/month/year or so, and thereafter normal blogging service will resume (i.e. I will write about things other than builders). Incidentally, I feel this blog has slipped into a rut recently, for which I apologise. I do have several non-building blog posts in mind, but they just keep getting eclipsed.

That reminds me, Q&B have disappeared from the radar of late; I must give them a ring.

In another round-up, Alex has now received compensation from Harles Churst, so we can all stop thinking bad things about them. Not that the repair actually works, you understand, but at least she got a free hire car for a few weeks.

Monday 5 November 2007


So, in all of last week, they fitted 2 door handles. In fact, I'm being generous here, and counting both sides - technically, it may only have been one handle, which went right through the door.

In happier news, though, the Chief Builder says the plumber's coming today.

For reference, here is the list of reasons so far why the plumber hasn't turned up (it is unclear how many plumbers there have been; hence, some of these statements may apply to different people):

1. He went to Newcastle for a stag party and got so drunk he couldn't come to work until Wednesday (you may recall that very early on, a plumber did in fact turn up, to disconnect things - this was him. No sign of him since).

2. He went to Thailand for 6 weeks (it later emerged that he was there looking for a wife). This plumber is now back, and is the one who is allegedly coming today.

3. He got attacked and his leg was broken in 3 places (why do we hire these bandits?).

4. He was climbing Mount Everest at the weekend; he'll be here on Wednesday (Wednesday is a popular day to kick things off with these lot; very rarely do they seem to work Mondays or Tuesdays). Incidentally, this turned out to be the electrician, not the plumber, and it was Ben Nevis. This is the annoying thing - there always turns out to be a measure of truth in the tales.

5. He just didn't turn up.

Chief Builder keeps putting on a reassuring voice and saying 'don't worry, it'll not take him long'. Quite. I have no concerns about how long it will take him, but let's face it, he's not going to finish until he actually starts.