A few amusing anecdotes to inject a wee bit of torch light into this early evening darkness; brace yerself for scenarios that couldn’t be made up even if you found yourself balancing upside down from a scaffolding pole whilst bouncing on a bungee rope with a magic wand gripped between your teeth attempting woman fully to sing an aria to the theme tune of the Archers! Not that I’ve actually attempted such a feat you understand but of all the people you could imagine doing this I’m probably towards the top of this list!
I’ve just come in from collecting a parcel from number 27, as I clip clopped up the street thinking these crutches were no longer fit for purpose – (far too much warning that the Spinster is approaching – I’ve seen people slow down to a snail’s pace giving me time to catch up) – I wondered if I’d catch this intimidating glamorous woman in her house coat on account of the time I was calling. She is a sensible woman who takes her work gear (and make-up) off when she gets home – this is proper grown-up behaviour that I try to emulate but always seem to get distracted by I know not what (frequently chopping the stamens out of lilies that unhelpfully fail to co-ordinate their opening for the 2 minutes that the microwave is doing its business turning oats into porridge – ok I exaggerate as I need the full 2 minutes to get the scissors out of the drawer, put them in me pocket and walk on my crutches to the vase).
Arriving at my neighbour’s front door I couldn’t find the door bell largely because the new PVC ensemble doesn’t have an integral visitor alert device so I resort to flicking the letterbox. Now this is where the old crutches do come into their own as they are attached to my arms with elastic that allow me to reach forward without breaking my forearms – I kid you not the newer more robust ones might be more stable for walking but don’t allow mulit-tasking including getting car keys out of my pocket for example! And don’t get me started on trying to get a Sugar-Free Werthers out of a pocket sized cardboard box – and yes they do shatter (noisily) like glass when dropped as I discovered in the lower stalls of the WMC!
Why I was worried about finding my neighbour in her housecoat when I should have been more concerned about the logistics of transporting a bulk order of knee-length (10 items amounting to some 16 (ish) pairs) socks from Matalan! Don’t you just dread someone asking what’s in the packaging they’ve taken in for you? I no longer get annoyed when the Postman interprets the ‘leave at no 31 or any other neighbour’ as under the front hedge – even when it’s a cardboard box and the wet Welsh weather is prevailing (I mean how wet does cardboard need to be to actually collapse in the 6-8 feet from the hedge to inside the front door)!
The door is opened by a still stylish woman sans make-up so a little pale sporting a cafe au lait two piece in velour. Reaching behind the door she passes a reassuring smallish plastic package which I accept without losing my balance, (and inadvertently inviting myself in), and am able to carry by piercing the plastic with my fingers enabling me get the leg warming garments home intact. Of course I’ve become distracted by what appears to be a window seat, something I’ve fancied doing myself, only my neighbour is a little non plussed as it isn’t actually a window seat rather it’s a seat in the window which is of course quite different!
Now I was going entitle this post ‘all that was needed was a good screw’ but after a recent experience, when I received a comment from someone who appeared to have found this blog through a random search, I thought better of it. Said unregular reader asked me to clarify precisely what I was saying; a random stream of self reflective (possibly self-indulgent (aren’t blogs often about people talking to themselves?)) consciousness probably would have lead to an extended conversation ending in me offering to meet for a coffee to clarify things face to face thereby confusing the poor human even more – and I do know that baiting wild animals or endangered species is both unkind and illegal. So back to needing a good screw.
A few weekends ago a good friend was visiting and I thought I’d take her up on her offer to help with random tasks. Now I know I’m not alone being a freelancer who dreads printer problems; it’s one of the few – in fact the only – times I wish I worked in an office with IT support. For the previous week I couldn’t make the printer print straight on the paper; I’d done all the usual reloading paper things and convinced myself that it was the paper feed which can be problematic with machines that do double sided business.
When I spoke to my brother, via the magic of Skype from China, he said it would probably be cheaper to buy a new one so that was my plan. Have fit person in the house with fully functioning co-ordination so if she couldn’t resolve the problem we could buy a new one and she could carry it to her car. That was before I remembered she drove a tiny sports car – entering and exiting it involved lowering myself very slowly to avoid sitting on the pavement! I tried, and failed, to pretend the manoeuvre was deliberate and graceful but well I was frankly having a laugh with this Amazonian frame which wouldn’t look out of place being assist getting in the vehicle with a winch!
When presented with the conundrum my gorgeous girl had it sorted in seconds without spending a penny or requiring tools or indeed performing a procedure that endangered her perfectly manicured nails. (And yes I do envy her nails but crutches render this adornment is impractical; even if it weren’t them the way I shake these days would make the operation way too stressful! I was telling a friend today that I have to physically move my hands away from the touch pad on my laptop as the number of times I have ended up on web pages I really didn’t have the remotest interest in viewing and less amusing sending off emails that were a little more terse than I intended (apologies if you’ve been one of the recipients – I could blame Cruella but I am a big ugly adult and its time I took responsibility for my actions!)
So back to the printer resolution, how did she, (friend with magic fingers), do that I hear you ask? And ask I did to be told delicately that she had just pushed the ‘bit that sticks out of the back’ (the rear of the paper tray/feed) back in place. I had moved it earlier in the week to get to the power points and must somehow managed – heaven knows how as its rather a large bit – to knock it out of place. I flattered her liberally to cover up my foolishness! I know I blame my poor co-ordination but this could have been swiftly and painlessly resolved with the flat of my hand!
OK that’s not exactly a screwing matter but this next one definitely is (honestly). I had noticed the colour on the TV getting more and more yellow but for a while it came and went before settling on a green and black combination. Now you can just about manage the Killing in green and black but the Hour or Last Tango in Halifax were unwatchable. I unscrewed and rebooted the Virgin Media box which really did push my digital mechanics to their very limits; the situation is made worse due to the weight of the cables that pull them floor-ward towards the power sockets. I am waiting for the builder to come and relocate the sockets so it’s easier but me and maintenance is never simple for some reason.
Before I phoned Virgin Media who would instruct me to do things at a speed I can’t manage I thought I’d ask my Friday Fairy to verify that what I’d done made sense (the woman is on her own and is incredibly resourceful which is the main reason I choose to pretend the cobwebs are invisible (unless my parents are visiting)). The last time I had called Virgin Media I had obviously tried the patience of the person in the Call Centre as he suggested I call back when I’d found someone to help me unscrew some cable (the one with the clip you squeeze to release – that would be the clip I found as soon as the call was disconnected).
Friday Fairy confirmed she would have done the same including trying a DVD to prove it wasn’t a problem with the relatively new TV. So I thought I’d phone Virgin later in the day when I built myself up to it. On the way out of Morrisons later the same day I bumped into Friday Fairy with her daughter. Before she had a chance to say anything I had to ask about the child’s uniform as I’d never seen anyone wearing knee length shorts with woolly tights in lieu of a skirt or trousers; I was reminded of culottes or a divided skirt from the 70s and 80s. Curious. And then Friday asked if I’d been back to the house which I hadn’t – she had been unable to leave the Virgin Media matter alone and had returned to the scene of the crime as soon as I had closed the front door.
Once again no tools were needed; no just a screw of the cables – the scart (?) cable had come loose at the back of the box! So two examples of how my fear of technology wrapped up in a cosy scarf of poor co-ordination related excuses were exposed for the naked baby mice that were nesting in my cerebellum! But in my defence there are something’s I can do myself even though I probably shouldn’t. Having rearranged the dining room I became aware that the position of the table wasn’t right; things like this really irritate me for some reason. Now I have people coming for dinner tomorrow so I could have asked the strapping blokes to assist except of course by then the table will be laid.