Some weeks ago I received a letter from the bank telling me that they had to interview me before 3rd January or they may have to close down my account. Something to do with money laundering, proving who we are etc. Money laundering. Eh?
This account is the teeny, tiny, macro sized sewing business that my friend Sandra and I have set up. We make a few bags, bunting, Christmas decorations and sell them to people we know, mostly.
I duly booked the appointment with the bank, speaking to a very nice chap on the phone he told me what information I would need to have to hand. Again. Eh?
This lot seems to think we are an international, multi layered corporation turning over millions. Didn’t they look at our account before getting in touch?
Now I’m digging out proofs of identity, date the company started and all manner of other information that all seems a bit ridiculous. Still, we have to stay legal and transparent I suppose, especially with all tens of pounds that go through our account every month.
You know, I’ve never been a follower of politics. It’s for much cleverer people than me. I have a very broad brushstrokes view of it all and with my limited knowledge I have always voted for the party that I felt most aligned with.
Of course, I have always exercised my right to vote. Women died to give me that right and not to do so would be a disgrace. Neither would I waste my vote on some stupid joke like the Monster Raving Loony Party as that would also be an insult to those strong and innovative women who fought for the likes of me.
One day last week Lashes came to visit. She knows less about politics than I do and so she asked a few questions. Those questions started a big old debate that made me realise that actually, I do not know who I could vote for in good conscience as the whole debacle is a disgrace. What the hell happened to integrity, honesty, common sense and a sense of public duty? I’m appalled by the lot of them.
Lashes thought that she might vote labour as they would look after the likes of her.
Ooh, his tactic of offering targeting the young voters is obviously working. Free this, free that, free the other. The trouble is, it doesn’t add up. It’s really quite simple. If you have more money going out than you have coming in then it just wont work, that is a recipe for bankruptcy. I know who would be bankrupt under Jezzer. The poor SME’s who would have to pay their workers five days pay to work a four day week so they can stay at home with their free broadband. Costs for the businesses reamain the same, productivity down 20%. Like I said, recipe for bankruptcy. Free unicorn, anyone? Not for those bloody jews though! Antisemitic? Jezzers? Surely not!
Nicola Sturgeon? Oh puh-lease, put another record on. “Scortland, Scortland, Scortland, Scortland” Yeah, we get it. Let’s look after Scotland, the rest of us can jog on.
As for Jo Swinson. I feel like she will wipe my teary eyes and runny nose and tell me that mummy knows best. Then she’ll whip up a big batch of rice krispie cakes while telling us that it’s for our own good that we stop Brexit. Well, sorry Jo, I’m not sure if you know this but 17.5 million people voted to leave Europe. I know that only a few of the people entitled to vote actually got off their arses to do it but the outcome was that we voted to leave. That’s 17.5 million people you have immediately alienated. Sorry love, no confidence in you at all. Mummy does not know best.
What about good old Boris. What the actual fuck? This fella doesn’t even know how many children he has. As for the promised 50,000 new nurses. Oh, yes but we already have 19,000 of those. So not 50,000 new nurses then? Yes, absolutely but that inludes 19,000 we already have…and so on. Does he think we are utter morons? As a proven liar, (although aren’t they all? ) I find this bumbling, inappropriate joke making buffoon with his ‘oven ready’ Brexit deal to be full of hot air.
He, like Jezzer, seems to have found the secret to cultivating money trees. After years of austerity somehow money has magically appeared. What a shame that many of the citizens of this country have been forced to tighten their belts time and time again living under austerity when there is apparently money available. Or is that another lie?
Let’s move on to Brexit. How much money has been spent on that? Millions? Billions? Trillions? Money that could have gone to the NHS, housing, education.Instead it has been squandered on Brexit politcal infighting.
The people we have voted in to serve the people, to work in our best interests, have been self serving, infighting, outmanoeuvring to try and get the result they want, regardless of what the country voted for, want or need.
Shall we have another Brexit vote? What would be the point?
We still could not believe a single word that was being spouted to us. There would be so many lies and rhetoric that we would be as much in the dark as we are now.
All that would be an absolute certainty is that our politicians work for the benefit of themselves, not for the good of this country. It makes me ashamed to admit to being English when so much money is being squandered by our politicians while families are living in poverty and many are having to go to food banks just to feed their children and survive.
Here’s a post from a few years ago. Its still as relevant, if not more so, today. I don’t know if it’s because I’m getter older, less tolerant or more deaf as the years go on but I find most people speak as if they have a mouth full of hot potatoes.
A drunken conversation with a guest at a wedding recently made me shudder. It took all I could muster to not correct him and say “It’s one of THOSE, isn’t it?” I did resist the urge though as he was a total stranger and I thought it might be considered a bit rude.
I didn’t actually find out what it was one of because the whole conversation was littered with, “It’s wanna them, innit?” Trying to find out exactly what of the many what’s ( or do I mean ‘it’s’ ) was one of what was altogether too taxing for my little brain to deal with at that point.
Exactly! That’s my point!
I saw this on Facebook the other day and it really made me laugh, I shared it on my ‘wall’ but wondered how many people would understand it.
It’s not often much goes on around here outside of the tourist season so it was with great excitement that we heard about an art installation going on nearby.
The first I heard about it was when I was approached by a man and woman on the beach asking me if I would be interested in me and Douggie the doggie taking part in a dog ballet. “YES!” was my instant reply. He told me there would be a brass band, an opera singer, theatrical lights and dogs wearing coloured lights, coloured balls and they’d be doing what they normally do on the beach, but after dark. It all sounded very wacky and right up my street so I signed up there and then.
It turned out to be part of a wider exhibition covering various landmarks in the town. Over three nights, hundreds of people attended. It was all very happy and Arts Councilish, right up my street! The best bit was the murmuration. A large group of us all wearing headphones as if at a silent disco listened and moved in synchronicity to music and instructions that the audience couldn’t hear, just like a flock of birds. It was BRILLIANT!!! Lashes and I were completely lost in it and we were sad when it ended.
Other exhibits were…actually, let the pictures tell the story.
This little catch up post is a veritable smorgasbord of snippets. Any one of them would make a full post on its own but I haven’t got the time or energy for that, it’s been busier than an eight lane motorway at rush hour. So, it’s snippets or nowt, I’m afraid.
Munki and I were taking Douggie the doggie for a walk the other day. Out of the blue Munki suddenly said. Nanny, how many times a day do you walk the dog.?” Me: “Three. At 7am, a long walk mid afternoon then about 8pm. Why do you ask?
“Why aren’t you dead, nanny?
“You must be exhausted. All those breakfasts to cook, all those rooms to clean and guests to look after and now you sew every night as well as all the other things you do. I don’t know how you do it all every day. I couldn’t do what you do. I don’t know why you aren’t dead with it all.”
Aw. Bless her. It’s nice to be noticed.
On Saturday while Douggie and I were on the beach during the mid afternoon walk I got a phone all from Lashes. “Mum, baby has a rash.” “Don’t worry, love. Kids get rashes.”
“It doesn’t go away when I press a glass on it, he’s just screamed for an hour and a half and he’s really hot.
“Phone the doctor, right now.”
I start to rush home, Lashes phones me again. “Can you pick the kids up? There’s an ambulance on the way.”
Off I went to pick up the kids to find a paramedic outside the house. My God, that was quick. Baby was all hooked up to various machines and looking very pale and sorry for himself and with a rash that was developing before our eyes. “Right, I’m not messing about, I’m getting him in,” said the paramedic. Five minutes later up turned an ambulance. Lots of curtains twitched on Lashes quiet, uneventful road.
Poor little baby underwent two days of tests, prodding, examinations, ruminations and injections while they ruled out meningitis and an autoimmune disease called HSP. The end result was a non-identifiable viral infection that his little body wasn’t able to fight and it mimicked meningitis with it’s symptoms. Pumped full of antibiotics he was discharged from hospital this morning, not with a clean bill of health but with a clean enough to go home bill of health.
While all this was going on and we looked after Munki and her two step brothers, Ben and Jerry as well as the dog, fleabagpeebag.
The sleeping arrangements were a bit of a challenge. Although we live in a stonking great house, our part of it is really quite small and all the letting rooms had been let. So, time to get organising. “Boys sleep downstairs, girls sleep upstairs.” That meant that the boys had to share a single Zed bed and Boofuls got the sofa. Munki and I shared a double bed upstairs.
I quickly discovered that Munki has limpet tendencies. “Oh my God! Back off, child, I can’t breathe!!”
“Nanny, I’m going to pretend I’m a sheep and then count myself till I go to sleep.”
“One…………I’m still awake”
Cue twenty minutes of giggling.
While all this was going one we played mine host to competitors in the International Irish dance Championships. Twenty four girls and mums rocked up with dress carriers, huge cases and even bigger cases for their make up.
If you’ve never played host to a house full of excitable and nervous preteenage and teenage girls you’ve never lived. The breakfast orders were bizarre, I felt like I was on Four in a Bed, they couldn’t have been more difficult and picky if they tried. Two girls were vegetarian for three days and then decided they were vegan on the last day. Never in the history of B&B-ing has so much food been wasted.
After breakfast they drifted off to get ready for their particular rounds. As we did the rooms we were transfixed by the metamorphosis of little girls into teeny, tiny, identikit drag queen lookalikes. Every one of them had stupidly long eyelashes, mahogany tans and curly wigs and of course the obligatory short dance dresses. It was hard to tell one from another. Bizarrely, or maybe not considering all the exercise they get, they all had legs like sparrows.
It wasn’t hard to tell which side of the bed the dancer slept in. Want to know how we could tell? Its like the Turin shroud.
The bathrooms and towels looked like a crime scene:
As if all this wasn’t fun enough. Boofuls, full of a cold that had gone straight onto his chest, got a call from the doctors surgery. “Would you like a flu and pneumonia jab?” “No thank you, I’ve never had flu. Goodbye.”
I looked at him bemused. “Are you sure about this?” He phoned them back. “I’ve changed my mind.” They got him in that very evening, obviously thinking that if they didn’t catch him quickly he’d run away.
They duly gave him the injections, one in each arm. Over the next couple of days he developed flu symptoms on top of his cold. “Noooooo, not now, Boofuls, we’re too busy.” Poor Boofuls, coughed, sneezed, snuffled, ached and wheezed his way through the whole, full on weekend.
Now that Baby is out of hospital, the grandchildren and dog have all gone to their respective homes, the guests have all gone. The house is so peaceful I did wonder for a while if I’d gone deaf.
Boofuls and I are taking a day or two to catch our breath and recover. It’s peace perfect peace.
MInding my own business in the linen room I was unpacking and putting away the seven million tonnes of sheets, duvet covers and towels that the nice man from the laundry left for me.
I bent down to pick up a bale of towels I was suddenly and unexpectedly kicked in the ribs by a horse. What the fu…..? Fell out of my mouth as I dropped to my knees with the severity of the pain. I turned to see where this horse had been hiding as I hadn’t noticed any horses in the linen room when I went in. Sneaky little bastard packed a hell of a kick. Strangely, there was no horse, just the pain in my ribs that came from nowhere.
After a minute I got my breath back and gingerly carried on putting the linen away. Too scared to bend much in case it happened again.
When everything was away I went downstairs and told Boofuls what had just happened while I examined my aching ribs convinced that there should be a rapidly developing bruise there. No bruise. How odd. The rest of the day and the next couple of days I hobbled around clutching my side and waited for the pain to ease while still inspecting my side convinced that I would see a massive bruise there.
On the third day (Oh, it’s sounding a bit biblical now, isn’t it) I got up to cook breakfast for our many guests as normal, aware that my poor ribcage was feeling much, much worse. By the time we went up to service the rooms I could hardly walk upright. I would take a deep breath, hold on to a door frame and give the staff their instructions. As soon as they were out of sight I would slump down and cry with the pain.
This is bloody stupid, thought I as I hobbled into one of the bedrooms out of sight of the staff. At that point common sense kicked in and I phoned 111 giving them all the details and explained that I could hardly breathe never mind walk or work. The nice lady listened and then said, “Right, based on what you’ve told me I’m phoning an ambulance for you.”
“What? No! Ambulance? Why?”
“No. Rib pains. It’s not a heart attack.”
She asked me why I didn’t want to go to hospital so I told her the whole sorry saga about how I thought I was having a heart attack in April and wound up wasting valuable time and A&E services for nothing more than a panic attack. I was mortified at the time and didn’t want to repeat that experience when I absolutely knew this wasn’t my heart.
“Ok. I’ll get a paramedic to talk to you.” Anyway…long story short. After a chat with a lovely paramedic I waited all day for a doctor to phone me. That’s after being told to be ready to go immediately to an out of hours appointment. Eventually I saw a doctor. He told me I was suffering from something that used to be called the Devil’s grip. That’s dramatic but it did bloody feel like the devil had a firm grip on my ribs.
As it turned out I had torn one of the muscles between my ribs and that had become inflamed. Hence the sudden pain and burning. I was prescribed some fanbloodytasticIcouldselltheseforafortuneintown pain killers and told to rest. Ha! Rest. Doesn’t he know I run a lodging emporium? Actually, no, he doesn’t.
Lashes came and helped me as much as possible. In between tablets and sleep I eventually managed to get moving again but even now a month later I’m moving quite carefully.
Honestly, Boofuls and I have really had our money’s worth out of the NHS this year. We have practically been taking it in turns to be ill. On every one of the many occasions that we have needed help the staff and treatment we have received has been amazing. It’s very easy to criticise the NHS but we have seen first hand how the staff cope under ridiculous pressure put on them from further up the ladder. It’s time we realised what a fantastic resource we have there and start taking better care of it.
The first chapter starts way back in the mists of time, other wise known as last week when I popped into B & Q to pick up some colour charts to help me find the perfect colour for my bedroom wall.
I pinned all the charts onto the wall against my lovely sparkly ‘feature wall’ paper and eventually decided that the best colour was one called ‘bumble’. Why it was called bumble I can’t imagine. It didn’t look anything like a bee or honey, it was just a very pale champagne colour and it blended in with the wallpaper beautifully. Just perfect.
Boofuls and me picked up the paint along with a few brushes and various other bits and bobs as you do when you go into B & Q. You know how it is – go in for a screw and come out with a full load.
is it me? Am I missing something? Is everyone in this little town going stark staring bonkers?
A few days ago I coaxed Boofuls away from his favourite restaurant into a local pizzeria for a change. Not much of a change in all honesty as we just swapped one Italian eaterie for another but hey ho – it was a change of scenery.
Since it was dog training night and I knew I’d be driving later I asked if they had a non alcoholic beer. The answer came back in a dippy, dozy, the wheel’s spinning round but the mouse has buggered off kind of way; ” No, we have this cider though.”
“Is it non alcoholic?”
“Um. No, but it’s only 4.5%.”
“Oh, a normal cider then, I won’t bother, thanks.”
Just a short three months ago I was looking at the prospect of a long season in front of us and thinking I can’t do it! I can’t do it! I can’t do it!
With Boofuls on death’s doorstep and Lashes about to give birth and the disappointment of losing the sale of the business, and the consequential change of attitude towards paying guests, the business as a whole and life in general I really couldn’t see how it was going to happen.
But it did.
Yesterday morning we were sitting outside with the staff having an apres breakfast service coffee and it suddenly struck me that that we’d done it. The season is over. Hundreds of happy guests have gone home having eaten a sizeable mountain of food between them and had a jolly good time doing it. I have to say my game face is damn good! No one realised anything was or had been amiss.
So here we are on the doorstep of September. Boofuls is still alive and kicking. The staff are returning to school/college next week. Guests have been drifting away and the rooms aren’t filling before we’ve even had time to service them. An air of calm has returned.
Now we can take a deep breath, slow down a bit and enjoy what’s left of the summer.