Sunday, December 31, 2006

Looking back over my shoulder

It’s the time of year when traditionally one looks back at the past year and forward to the next. I think it can be summed up quite succinctly …

Get lost, 2006! I can’t wait to see the back of you – you’ve been total pants. A year of redundancy, debt, illness and death. Good fucking riddance.

I loathe and detest New Year celebrations, but usually have to stay up to calm my animals who’re terrified of the blasted fireworks set off by inconsiderate bastards who care nothing for the mental wellbeing of pets, farm stock or wildlife. Luckily the weather’s pretty horrible now and worse is forecast so hopefully those who want to celebrate can do so indoors and leave the rest of us in peace. I’m having an early night.

Be warned, 2007. I will not tolerate another year as bad again, so make sure you sodding well co-operate or I’ll do something we might all regret. So there.

Happy New Year, everyone! Let’s hope 2007 brings us all better fortune.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

You'll think it's tragic when that moment arrives

I tore off the wrapping and eagerly I opened the book. Inside the front cover was a Love Chart to help you decide astrologically whether you and your boyfriend are compatible (apparently Ned’s not The One, but will lead me to him. Oh well, I don’t think I can be bothered to change now). I turned the page, and swooned at the picture of Daaavvviiiidddd!!! Then to the Editor’s Foreword, which begins “If you’re reading this compilation, I’m guessing you were a young girl back in the 1970s.” That seems to be a pretty fair bet, which leads on to the conclusion that most people reading it are now hovering around their half-century, with all that entails. So why is the print so flipping small? But I love my ‘Jackie’ annual!

*goes to find reading glasses*

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Needles and PINs

When I was on shift at the vet the other day I was horrified slightly alarmed to see that the receipt roll for the credit card machine was about to run out and I've never changed it before, and had no idea where the destructions instructions were. I toyed with the idea of leaving it for the next person on duty because there weren't many appointments booked, but that doesn't mean it'll be a quiet shift sales-wise so I didn't dare. I cautiously opened or removed all flaps and covers and thought it looked reasonably straightforward, so I got a new roll ready (I'm not entirely stupid), took a deep breath and removed the remnants of old roll. I carefully fed the the end of the new roll through any appropriate-looking slots then panicked as I realised it needed mechanical assistance for the final stretch. How?*

A brainwave! If I used my own credit card and made a dog's breakfast of the sale it might still feed the paper through. I duly inserted the card, logged a sale for £0.01 and pressed random numbers because I have no idea of my PIN. This would ensure a void sale, I'd be asked to remove the card, the recipt would come through and all would be hunky-dory. What are the chances that the random numbers I pressed were right?

I left a note explaining the strange 1p sale on the receipt (yes, it worked. It seems I do know my PIN after all) in the cash box, which today was found annotated by BossVet "What the !!!!? See me"


*If I'd been looking at the machine the right way up I'd have noticed the button marked 'Feed'.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Another one bites the dust

Good idea, that is. With our current situation I thought I’d had a brainwave, and suggested that, rather than the Boy buy me a Christmas present – I’ve pretty much grown out of the desire for presents – he should put the money he would have spent on me into his savings account, because that would genuinely give me the most pleasure and help me relax a bit. My suggestion apparently has come too late. Bugger.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Slow down you're gonna crash

So, a couple of weeks ago there’s a squeal and a bang outside the house as a twunt drives into the back of Boy’s car when he came home for lunch. No injuries thankfully, and only minor damage. Independent witness standing by, and bloke accepts liability (“Why did you stop?” “Because I live here” “Sorry, the sun was in my eyes”) and I get all the details and photograph the 57' skidmark and start dealing with insurance. The garage estimate is a touch under £800 as long as nothing goes wrong; the car’s not dangerous – the main problem is that the tailgate doesn’t shut securely so the back panel needs pulling out, and possibly a new tailgate. Parts are cheap* – labour and VAT are expensive. I refuse to allow them to say the car’s not worth that much and write it off, because they wouldn’t give us enough money to buy a suitable replacement. We’re still waiting to see what the various insurance companies decide as to who’ll pay what, but if they won’t play ball we’ll have to cancel the claim and try to come to an arrangement with the other driver to get repairs done ourselves. Surely they can't force us to hand the car over if we don't want to? Surely the other guy's insurance must cover the repairs?

*comparatively speaking.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Little donkey, little donkey

PuzzleDonkey, RIP? It's been unavailable for a couple of weeks now (and not just on my computer either). Is this the end?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Just a traveller in time

The very very worst thing about claiming benefits is the endless completion of increasingly complicated, tedious and appallingly-badly worded forms. No sooner have you summoned the strength of will to actually sit down and complete the first 20-page (I kid you not) booklet of irrelevancies than another one thuds through the letterbox. The latest just takes the biscuit though. The Powers That Be seem to have got really shirty that that I've got another part-time job and have demanded why I haven't sent them my last 5 pay slips. Bearing in mind that I only started the job two weeks ago and am paid monthly, that would be a bit of a challenge. Not only that, the letter is dated 4th December 06 and tersely demands a reply by 11th September 06. I think I'm losing the will to live.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Living in a box

Clover came home today, at last. She was first sent home a couple of weeks ago but the box they'd put her in was, in our opinion, quite, quite horrible. Far too ornate and fussy. I wouldn't be seen dead in it so I didn't see why she should either. In fact looking at it was rather like losing her all over again. I mentioned this to the vets and together we organised a replacement.

This was much more to our taste, being smaller, simpler, and a more suitable accompaniment to those of Bella and Polly. So at last she's back with us again.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

We are family

We have three dogs. There are five dog beds (don't ask). So why ..........?