Borske Sklo

Many ancient monuments, such as Stonehenge, line up with the summer solstice sun, big deal! Our rickety old cupboard did exactly the same this week, and just see how sparkling our Bohemian glass looks and what amazing shadows it casts on the wall.

 

Advertisements

Snow Business

Seeing all the snow that’s fallen, and the inevitable panic that always comes with the unprepared, had me remin reminis remembering what it was like in days gone by.

This picture was taken in the Winter of ’63 when I was about 18 months old. I remember being so excited that I dashed outside without getting properly dressed, yes I am wearing a jumper, but no underwear and only my bootee slippers on my feet, but we were hardy and impervious to cold back in the day!

The next snow event I remember was when I was a teenager, we lived in a small village at the time about 5 miles from school and had to rely on buses to ferry us back and forth. When it snowed, the village was cut off and we were reet excited about not going to school…but the authorities had other ideas. We had a small hike to the main road where, surprise, surprise, the school buses were waiting. Damn. We drove through snow drifts almost as high as the bus, the country did not grind to halt like it does today. Life carried on pretty much as normal.

That was pretty much a localised snow event, the next one was not, it was the Winter of 1978-79. I was working in a department store at the time, and through the day the weather got worse…and worse…but it was an old-fashioned store who believed in being there just in a case a customer wandered in. By mid-afternoon it was quite clear that anyone with an ounce of sense had gone home, in the store however, we were all standing there looking at each other in an increasing sense of panic.

When they finally let us go, all the buses had stopped, so I had no option but to walk the 1.5 miles or so, home…in high heels…and about 6″ of snow…moderately uphill. I’ve no idea how long it took, seemed like forever, I was sobbing with the pain of the cold and the struggle to walk. At the half way point, my heel gave out, and I had to half limp, half drag myself the rest of the way home. I was so traumatised I have no recollection of whether I went to work the next day, but knowing me, I probably did!

I’ve been through many other snow events since, but thankfully I’ve been able to stay inside, which is what I’m doing now…and starving to death* in the process because Sainsburys cancelled my grocery delivery this morning!

*author’s artistic licence

Sofa so good

Our new sofa arrived this afternoon. (The delivery van turned up at virtually the same second as the other van which was bringing our online-ordered groceries, but fortunately nobody got in anyone else’s way and comic scenes full of pratfalls and stunt collisions were thankfully avoided.)

The sofa delivery men had our new tasteful charcoal two-seater up the stairs and in the house in less than a couple of minutes and weren’t even out of breath.

Put us to shame, they did 🙂

So, about our old sofa then, as you are doubtless dying to know.

You can see the old settee if you look at Smoky’s gallery of pictures (just click on the link at the top of the home page). It was a green tough-as-old-boots two-seater with a relatively high back compared to most modern sofas. Firm but comfortable cushions and big chunky bun feet almost as big as your head.

It had started to smell a bit musty, according to Shana. Well, we had owned it for fourteen years, and it was pretty old when we bought it in 2003. We had just bought Ezra the inflatable skeleton (who we still have). One of the blokes who delivered the old sofa wanted to take Ezra home with him but we politely declined.

Tired of the musty aroma, Shana ordered the new sofa last week, and we put the old one out for collection by the local recycling depot.

I make it sound so easy, don’t I?

What actually happened was this. First, we huffed and puffed and almost destroyed the door frame trying to heave the old sofa out of the house. Then we dragged the green beast down a flight of concrete stairs towards the outside world until we got to the last door in the communal area between the two blocks of maisonettes where Waffle Towers is located.

Since we moved here in 2007, the main entrance door has been changed. Not only must you now be a weightlifter to stand any chance of hauling it open, but the door is actually narrower than the flimsy one that used to be there.

What I mean to say is, we got stuck. Almost permanently wedged in the doorway.

At one point I went back upstairs to fetch a ripsaw, as I was convinced that the only way we would get the sofa out would be to dismember it.

Luckily, Mr Saw was not required. While I was upstairs Shana had done some rapid mental trigonometry and worked out the correct angle at which the sofa could be made to leave the building.

So gold star to Shana. And what happened next?

Well, the very next day, just before lunch, a big green dustcart turned up and two he-men in hi-vis jackets he-manhandled the doomed sofa to the back of their truck. At the push of a button Biffa (for it was indeed that very same Dustcart of the Apocalypse) ate my sofa.

They came back ten seconds later for the cushions. And the truck ate those too.

Then, with barely a burp, it rumbled off into the distance, leaving only a faint whiff of mustiness to linger in the air.

‘Farewell, old sofa,’ I thought. ‘Rest in pieces.’ 🙂

The curious tale of the Cornish pasty on the radiator

‘Why is there a Cornish pasty just below the radiator?’ asked Shana, who was sitting on the living room floor, dazed and contused.

A fair question, I thought, noting also her concerns about randomly scattered boiled new potatoes, one or two nestled comfortably by the maze of wires under the computer desk. And sharing her puzzlement at the row of garden peas lodged between the living room wall and the radiator pipework just above the skirting board. It struck me that the peas were lined up rather like a row of green balls ready for a snooker player’s trick shot.

Thankfully, this evening’s meal had included no gravy. (Big phew! there 🙂 )  And the little helpings of butter that had adorned the potatoes had hardly had time to melt before disaster struck, and so were fairly easy to clear up.

If you had just walked in the scene would have been a little like that on the ill-fated Marie Celeste, albeit a Marie Celeste manned by very messy eaters and with two of the scurvy crew (viz. Shana and I) still on board.

It’s a bit like one of those Sherlock Holmes locked-room mysteries, this, isn’t it? I bet you can’t wait to hear how this sorry scene came to be.

Well, it’s all quite prosaic, alas. We had just sat down to a late afternoon/early evening meal, when Shana decided to fetch a cushion from another part of the living room.Unfortunately she tripped over my foot, which had been so inconsiderate as to be on the end of my leg and also directly in Shana’s path. I am now designated as a human trip hazard and shall hand myself in to Health and Safety later this week, to return only when clad entirely in Shana-resistant padding.

Anyway, Shana now has more bruises than a crate of dropped apples, and feels like she’s been cage fighting with a grizzly bear.

I helped by clearing up the food debris and by wiping the floor with antibacterial wipes and doing lots of brushing. Then I checked on how Shana was faring. You may argue that I got my priorities wrong, but I contend that bumps and grazes always improve over time; whereas some of our floor covering was from an end-of-line selection and may very well be irreplaceable.

Anyway, I did make an excellent pot of tea soon afterwards, so I’ll have my gold star and nursing badge back, thanks all the same.

Tomorrow, I shall be wearing a hi-divisibility (sic?) jacket in order to be more noticeable. And Shana will be trundling around with the aid of a pair of those little stabiliser wheels that three-year-olds have on their bicycles.

Because you can never be too careful, can you? 🙂