Well it’s amazing how time flies. here was me thinking that I would just have a few days of no blog time and low and behold here we are two weeks later.
Yes, it is two weeks since my last missive on the EIOT blog and a lot has happened.
First and foremost the gruesome have landed. Yeap, the Easter holidays are upon us, the peace is shattered, the house looks like a boarding school bomb has gone off and the fridge is already a good deal emptier than it was this time a couple of days ago.
Now, it wasn’t quite the snagless trip that it should have been for them, or us. All our meticulous planning went down the swanny quite dramatically as a minor hitch en route to the airport ended in near disaster. Raised blog pressure, bickering and extreme anxiety ensued – that was here in the land of sand and not on the M-something I hasten to add. No, the strawberry blond hand grenade phoned us with a barely audible sense of concern in her voice and the testosterone filled one was completely unfazed as he had sausage rolls and his iPad so quite frankly anything could have happened and he would not have flinched.
Yeap, an accident on the motorway brought the whole detailed, military quality plan to a standstill – nobody’s fault but a damned pain in the bottom anyway.
So, a 90 minute standstill and stress levels here in the land of sand soared. Even our usually calm driver who ferries the gruesome twosome from various points of the country to various other points in our absence was a bit flummoxed. But they remained completely unflustered and even a tad bored by the whole scenario.
Yeap, they were too late for the flight. Crisis!
Now, it is bad enough when you are at the airport yourself and have a problem, but when you are 3000+ miles away with the offspring at the airport, school finished for Easter and no flight then nerves were jangling somewhat.
Anyway, crisis solved with the legendary Lufthansa springing to the rescue with an alternative – but not after nail biting, stressful bickering and more than a few expletives.
Oh how I needed a glass of wine on Thursday….
Anyway, crisis solved and the gruesome twosome arrived late at night, completely unvexed.
Now, they are back with us safe and sound and will be for almost a month. However, yesterday morning I took it upon myself to put a hand into the luggage of the small testosterone filled one.
I am not quite sure what I was expecting but I can guarantee it wasn’t this.
In my naivety I suppose I was expecting his bag to be packed as I would pack mine. Yeap, my subconscious was expecting nice clean clothes, neatly folded, organised, sweet smelling with shoes in special bags.
Shock! I unzipped his bag to find a mish-mash of grot. Well, a high proportion of grot. There was some hygiene in there – Matron at school had clearly had some input – albeit minimal.
Yeap, I unzipped the bag to find a homogenised clump of clothes. A combination of clean clothes that would have been recently laundered by Matron and a preponderance of well, dirty clothes.
Now, when I had donned my protective gown and donned my marigolds I started to fish out the contents of the bag.
Needless to say the contents of the bag all made their way directly to the linen basket and I swear I heard a sigh coming from the washing machine in the kitchen.
But, I was, (and still am), more than a little bemused by the fact that among the ragbag of clothes that I plucked out with my marigolds were all his day school uniform – trousers and shirts. No other uniform just his shirts and trousers.
This in itself gives me cause for concern as it undoubtedly means that he stinky sports kit is festering in his sports bag and will be for the next month along with his wet swimming kit and towel.
Best I write a grovelling email to Matron in the hope that she is still at school.
Now there was evidence that the trousers were waiting to be washed but the shirts? Well, they were all buttoned up and folded – clearly by the tender loving hands of Matron.
So, slightly puzzled I asked the small testosterone filled one why he had brought clean school uniform 3500 miles from Cumbria to the land of sand.
I was greeted by a bemused look that suggested the stupidity of my question and was then informed that ‘I didn’t know what to do with them so I just put them in my bag’.
OK, I suppose I should be grateful that he knew what to do with his euphonium and hadn’t resorted to stuffing that in his bag as well.
‘And’, I asked, ‘what about the flip-flops that I asked you to bring back?’
‘Oh, forgot those…..’
So, we have his school trousers and shirts here in the land of sand and his flip flops remain in Cumbria….That’s useful.
Anyway, the washing machine has been coaxed into life and is attending to its mission. The bag itself is now empty and open, allowing the air to to get to it and hopefully freshen it up over the next few weeks ready for its return journey when it will be full of sweet smelling, freshly laundered and highly organised clothes.
So, what else has been happening?
Well, it has been quite here, very quite – until last night. The normal levels of extreme chaos do subside to a moderate level when the gruesome twosome are away but we do still have our moments.
Firstly, himself has had an awakening – it has only taken several years but he has got there.
Yeap, when one day he came home from work and found me glued to the extravaganza that is Broadchurch he was vaguely interested and even sat and watched the last 20 minutes with me.
Well, that was enough to trigger the avalanche – he suddenly decided that he would like to sample the broader Broadchurch experience.
Well, what can I say? Broadchurch devotees we have our latest member. Yeap, he is hooked. We binge watched series one on Wednesday and then series two on Thursday. The only thing that is stopping series three at the moment is that the gruesome twosome are at home and it is not really child friendly material.
Anyway, even after fetching the gruesome twosome from the airport he was still in his Broadchurch buzz zone and as he was dozing off to sleep he was still talking about the intricacies of the plot of series 2 and is even taking about going to Dorset to visit the locations.
He was very unceremoniously asked to be quiet and go to sleep.
Talking of TV, you will I am sure be pleased to hear that my Jeremy Kyle detox is continuing to do well. The physical symptoms of withdrawal are lessening and Mr JK’s name barely enters my head at the moment.
That said, I did turn on the TV the other day and stumble across Judge Rinder and lingered for a few seconds – but common sense soon kicked in and I soon changed over to the news and quite frankly wished I hadn’t and switched off.
So, to our news that everybody wants to hear – the BT/Openreach fiasco.
Yeap, we have news. Now this is in no small way thanks to the efforts of the national press, and the local press who finally published as well, who launched, (and continue to maintain), an assault on BT/Openreach.
Yeap, it would appear that the press love a story that takes a shot at the behemoths that are BT/Openreach.
The original article appeared on a website that deals with all things communication – news, deals, research everything and I am exceptionally grateful to my friendly journalist who published it.
Within minutes of the story going live we were contacted by The Daily Mail, The Mirror and The Sun – all online editions.
At the same time I launched a Twitter attack on all accounts BT/Openreach, (and believe me there are a few).
Now, I am not sure which newspapers published and which didn’t, but the effect with BT/Openreach was meteoric.
All of a sudden Openreach were in touch – yes Openreach, not BT. All of a sudden temporary solutions were being offered and all of a sudden nothing was too much trouble.
Apparently managers were breathing down necks and apparently all hell was breaking lose.
The outcome is that we have a ‘temporary’ phone line that not only gives us a phone line but also gives us internet.
Now, let’s not get too overexcited about this as it is a temporary fix.
Yeap, apparently Openreach have attached a wire to the the telegraph pole by the phone box at the bottom of the hill, (although in doing so they then realised the phone box has not been working for a long time) and then proceeded to lay wires over the fields up to the telegraph pole near our house and connected it to the line going into our house.
Now, this is clearly not a technical description and I do not think it needs to be – the wires are apparently not buried and run over the grass in the fields.
So, this is a very temporary fix and I am just waiting for a sheep to bite through the wire or a tractor to severe the cable.
I am not sure if there is an electrical current running through telephone cable but I am half expecting an exasperated farmer to phone the land of sand when one of his flock of sheep has been electrocuted.
So, I would just like to say that I am very grateful to the Openreach engineers who provided the ‘temporary’ fix but if BT/Openreach think I am going to be quiet now then I have news for them.
You see I am convinced that BT/Openreach are now going to rest on their laurels and are going to let the ‘permanent fix’, i.e. the moles on ploughs slip, (not literally the moles you understand but the work).
So, the emails to BT have continued and I have pointed out in no uncertain terms that they will not be allowed to let the ‘temporary’ fix slowly become the ‘permanent’ fix.
They have assured me that this will not happen, but after so many broken assurances then quite frankly pigs might fly.
Anyway, I am looking forward to visiting EIOT Towers and enjoying the delights of a phone line and the internet, as long as no sheep have been electrocuted by then that is.
Right, so, best I start thinking about entertaining the gruesome twosome for the next month.
The small testosterone filled one’s xBox is back in the land of sand and already I have been nagged into an inch of my life to play FIFA 17 with him.
With the best will in the world that is a bit beyond me and to be honest I cannot get my head around all the different combinations of control pad buttons to make the players do anything vaguely footballish.
Wayne Rooney’s (professional) reputation would have been smashed and his career in ruins if he performed in real life as I made him perform yesterday.
So, the small man has got very frustrated with me and this morning I was reduced to a plea on the compound’s Facebook page for anybody who knew how to play FIFA 17 and rescue came in the form of a friend’s son who at the same age as the small man is an ideal buddy to play FIFA 17 and give me a reprieve.
So, here they sit, glued to FIFA 17. They have complete control of the TV. The strawberry blond hand grenade has taken to wearing head phones to avoid the ‘boys’ that are in the lounge. Himself is researching Broadchurch locations and me?, well I am in a supervisory role of them all – especially himself.