Thursday, 26 August 2010


I'm sorry I haven't posted much of late.  I've been very, very busy.  Like, not just regular old busy.  Really, really crazy busy.  Working all day and then some in the evening busy.

Also, I decided to dig up my garden.  This is all part of a vastly overambitious and, undoubtedly, ultimately doomed (but what is the blog for if not to tell you about things going hilariously wrong?) plan to landscape my garden.  After spending quite some time digging up the grass (with my sister saying things like 'Why are you doing it yourself?  Should we not get someone in?  What if you do it wrong?' - to which I responded 'Because it's about 2 ft sq of grass, and if we got someone in they'd laugh at us for being pathetic, and then charge us, like, £400, and anyway, how hard can it be, and what's the worst that can happen?') the plan has been slightly scaled down, and is now more of the order of making a place for the bins to sit.

I initially had a mind to put up a new fence as well (the old one is going to just fall over some day soon), but this was roundly decried by the naysayers who don't think I could construct a fence, so we're getting someone in to do it instead (of course, when they said I'd never be able to do it, I wanted to try even more, but then I realised the materials would be quite expensive and I don't want to go wrong with expensive things).  Our current options for the Fence Constructor are as follows:

1) A man who did my aunt's fence.  Having been quoted £600 from everyone else, this guy charged about £100 (these figures may not be literally correct, but they give an idea of the relative gulf between the quotes).  Now, ordinarily, this would worry me (you will recollect that The Builder wasn't the most expensive guy in the... um... place where builders are), but my dad was already leaning towards hiring him, and then heard that he works hard all day and doesn't accept any offers of cups of tea, and this seemed to clinch it.  You may recollect that The Builder didn't accept offers of cups of tea either, and look how that turned out.  Also, there was the guy who did the windows a few years ago.  He was cheap and didn't drink tea, and is now in jail, which may have invalidated my warranty.

2) Sister's friend Lucy's cousin who is a gardener.  This was going well until I pointed out that what we really need is not so much a gardener as someone to build a fence.  Anyway, he's coming round on Monday to give us a quote.

In any case, I'm perfectly certain it will be a merry disaster, as these things always are, but you will, of course, be kept informed.

Friday, 6 August 2010

On Having A Television Again: Again

There are some further points I wish to raise about having a television again

1) I'm used to watching TV programmes at my parents' house, but these are inevitably ones which my mum recorded weeks, or, indeed, months ago.  I takes some getting used to when you watch TV live, and have to keep reminding yourself that news reports and weather forecasts are all new.  I keep watching the news, and thinking 'I never heard about that!', and then remembering that that's the whole point of news, and, when watched in real time, it is not supposed to refer to things you already knew.
Likewise for adverts: at my parents' house, the 'special offers' always ended months back; I could only watch and ponder what might have been.  I have to keep reminding myself that I can now avail myself of these things, because they wouldn't be telling me otherwise.

2) I had forgotten about my habit of flicking channels without thinking.  This leads to mass confusion, in my head at least.  Not so much if I was watching Wimbledon, and flick unconsciously to Have I Got News For You: in that case I can generally figure out pretty quickly that I must have changed channels without noticing.  But when you flick from Coronation Street to, say, Holby City, it can take a wee while to figure out why Fizz is wearing scrubs and operating on people.
Of course, confusion is only heightened when you flick between programmes starring the same people.  How did Juno's step mum end up being White House Press Secretary?  Since when has Father Dougal been a teacher?  I didn't know Miss Trunchbull was Smithy's mum!

So, as you can tell, it's going to take some time to get used to all this.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

On Having a TV Again

I may have mentioned before that I have not had a TV license for about 7 years.  This has meant that I can watch things on iPlayer, as long as they're not live, but I can't watch anything live.  Now this was all well and good, but now that Sister Smile has moved in, it has become An Issue.

Until today, we basically worked our way through our DVD collections, and those of our friends, which meant: Friends, West Wing and Cold Feet.  Sister Smile limited herself to Friends, and, as you can imagine, after a year of nothing else, was fairly fed up with it.

So she got a TV license.

So now we have Freeview.  I came in yesterday, and Big Brother was on.  I'm fairly sure that was one of the shows which prompted me to get rid of the tv in the first place, so to discover (1) it's still on, (2) it's what we're chosing to watch, and (3) it hasn't got any better, was, as should be painfully clear, a Surprise.  Then we watched some adverts.

Then this evening we watched Friends.

So that's been worth 140 quid.