Friday 29 May 2009

Mice biting, dogs peeing, tum-ti-tum

This was going to be such a good day. James is off having a sleepover with a friend and so this was going to be the day I salvaged from half-term to get through my Sisyphean list of Things To Do. I was going to write two features; bang off lists of scintillating ideas to my editors; do some invoicing; and all before lunch. Then I was doing to spend the afternoon resurrecting the children’s novel, washing my hair, painting my toenails and maybe, just maybe, making up a new batch of rhubarb syrup. I was going to launch into the weekend feeling productive and positive and pretty fabulous. Yup, well that was a silly idea.

It’s 11am and I still haven’t had breakfast. Mainly because Adrian and I, demob happy, went out last night to see Angels and Demons (total and utter tosh – we kept whispering to each other things like ‘he’s got ten minutes to save the cardinal from being toasted and he’s changing his suit?’) and then had an immense curry. We were the only people in The Ganges which was a little disconcerting and so I think we felt honour-bound to order more than we really needed. The waiters were so impressed they gave us free lager. Hence spent a long uncomfortable night balancing on my belly and dreaming of stomach ache.
Quite apart from feeling queasy (had to stop reading Sea of Poppies as they kept talking about dhal and chapattis) the morning has gone wrong in about six directions at once.
Adrian woke me up to tell me: ‘There’s a leak in the kitchen…under the sink.’
That would be the new kitchen and the hand-built sink unit with the water seeping into the new oak flooring.
Tracked down Percy the plumber who turned up with his usual knowing grin.
‘Been having a good time, I hear. Off on trips to Disney. Was reading your blog…’
What? Is nothing sacred? Now I can’t even moan about plumbers online.
Turned out that mice had eaten through the piping. Nice. And Percy couldn’t fix the pipes until Brett, the cabinet-maker, came back to take the sink unit to bits. So the whole morning has vanished in phone calls, and people racing over the moor and narrowly missing each other, pretty much like a Laurel and Hardy farce.

Meanwhile the dog has been barking his head off and I just caught him sliding down the stairs having peed up against the bed – again. The friend’s mother has just rung to say could we pick up James early (I’m not even going to ask why) and so my beautiful organised productive day has descended into chaos.
Never mind. As Adrian said, ‘Nobody’s died.’
‘Wish the bloody mice would die,’ I muttered in return.
‘Nobody’s in hospital.’
I raised an eyebrow. ‘There’s still time for an assault on A&E.’
So far James has managed to get through half-term without concussing himself or spraining an ankle – though he has a cracking black eye courtesy of cricket (no, not a ball, fell over on a piece of rope) and a graze over his nose (Butlins water slide). The first thing his maths teacher said, on seeing him in the park, was – ‘Still in one piece, James?’

Anyhow, here I am blogging when I should be working. Why? Because it’s good to write. I still think blogging is great therapy and that, when the mice are eating through your pipes and the dog is peeing against the bed; when every travel editor in town has no budget and you're STILL feeling overfed at 12 noon, at least one can still moan and gnash one’s teeth and whinge online. Yes, of course I should be doing something constructive, like heading into battle against the weeds or even sponging down the bed but frankly I can't be bothered. Is it too early for a rhubarb bellini?


muddyboots said...

have just fallen off the chair at thought of mice eating pipes and dog peeing against bed, my dogs? Barking at delivery driver and rubbing against wall to dry off after their swim. word verification is boder,LOL

Mum Gone Mad said...

I always see online whinging as constructive, somedays it's my only outlet!

Jude said...

Whinge away! I love it, saves me doing it and it's funnier when someone else does it!!

Minnie said...

Getting it all out of your system AND making people laugh: not just cathartic - it's bloody brilliant!
Sounds familiar, though: have experienced the omnivorous mice problem ...
Kidguard on stairs to prevent AJ from going up there?

Exmoorjane said...

Muddy: boder indeed! oh, mine also spread bird poo over my favourite cushion.

Mum gone Mad: you're right....might have another go in a minute!

Jude: thanks....ah, I aim to please, even when ranting!

Phidelm: don't get me started on mice.... Dog is SUPPOSED to be trained not to go upstairs. Ho hum, ho hum..... If I had a spare kidguard I'd probably brain him with it.

Frances said...

Jane, I am very sorry to know of your troubles. All the same, you have transformed them into great material for a very funny post.

What sort of pipes can mice chew? We have metal pipes over here. Do the mice (not Disney types, for sure) eat at the connections?

What color are those toenails? I have never painted mine, and am considering the first coating.

May your weekend be beautiful, indoors and outdoors!

ArtSparker said...

Entropy on a domestic scale - any material for the Children's novel? Did Ben's mother relent about the sleepover?

Zoë said...

Whinge away Dear Heart, its good for the soul xxx

Wonder what smells worse, dog or cat pee? Our Feral has been making his presence known again.

family affairs said...

All my days seem to turn out a bit like that.....good to blog it off your chest Lx

Word Verif dessess (de-stress obviously) x

DD's Diary said...

I can just see you saying 'nice' - or something else - when discovering the gnawed pipes! At least half term is over now (bar the shouting!

walter and me said...

oh you crack me up....have you thought of getting a cat to catch the mice...or teaching Asbo to be a mouser...

Hope your weekend descends into peaceful tranquility and many a rhubarb bellini.
D x
Ps my sister one a beautiful baby contest at Butlins, circa 1963...!

The bike shed said...

Know how you feel.

Builders arrived today and took the tiles off the roof to reveal the roof beams -lots of sucking of teeth and mention of 'major job' - I see costs getting higher.

Then we are meant to go backpacking but Daniel breaks his toe- duh!

So I'll write in the sunshine instead - we have a power cut and the wireless router breaks down (just replaced at 6.00pm)

One of those days.

FeatherDuster said...

Good to know I'm not the only one with a dog who can't keep his leg down.

Anonymous said...

Why am I laughing? I wouldn't want to go through your problems all in one day yet I'm laughing? Perhaps because it was written with such eloquent humour!
I like your dog. He has the right type of character for me. He might get a fat lip for peeing up against the bedleg, but I still like the sound of him.

Withy Brook said...

We once had an account from an electrician to repairing wires eaten by rats.
Can't you spray the bed leg with one of those things that dogs don't like? Forget what they are but someone will tell you.
But of course you are winging here rather than working. It is soooo much more enjoyable.
busner - now what does that mean....

Chris Stovell said...

That post-curry feeling is what we call a 'Jeesusjeesus' feeling, since that's what Tom lies awake moaning all night!

Unknown said...

Blogging is definitely good therapy! Award for you over at mine xx

Rob-bear said...

Do you ever have the feeling that you're an accident looking for a place to happen, and that every thing and person around you is in the same mode?

Yeah, me too!

Fortunately, editors still have publications to put out, and you computer works. Nobody died, and you're not in hospital. Keep "Bear-ing up."

Fennie said...

Welcome to life as she really is! The stones has just rolled down the hill again. Just have to get behind it and push it up again.

Cindy said...

Your blog is such fun! Thanks for visiting mine.

Jacqueline said...

Asbo Jack has such an innocent look on his face. I imagine a cat wouldn't last very long around him, but they are very effective at keeping mice at bay. My cat left a little present of one whole mouse and a mouse head on the doorstep earlier this week. Lovely!

Anonymous said...

Sod the work, it'll stil be there next time you look,

Galss of wine and good booke prescribed,


claire p said...

Hurah! It's not just me then? I've stopped waking up in the morning thinking I'll do this or that, kiss of death.

Whinge away m'dear, I do.

maddie said...

Ha, ha, glad I'm not the only one with a peeing dog. I had a whole list of stuff to do this weekend, including doing three invoices and a 2,000 word essay. But I've done nothing but socialise, soak up the sun and blog. Bliss.

Norma Murray said...

What you need is a good strong dogkennel. No, what I mean is, Asbo needs is a good strong dogkennel. Surely Jack Russels are ratters, can't he earn his keep with those mice.

Milla said...

word verif, sprob, which poss describes your tum!
anyway, great blog as per, PLOODY MICE! Ploody plumbers reading blogs (not my plumber, don't have to be nice) oi, plumber, back to work!

Welsh Girl said...

How do I make rhubarb syrup? It sounds delicious, particularly combined with champagne....

Reasons said...

Breathe Jane, you can do this, and blogging it out, it's good for you too! Now stay off the curries & larger for a while ;-) x

P.S. cute dog and hope the boys antics weren't too bad. But who am I kidding, right?

Word verification is FACKEREA. Could this be new swear word for days like this?!

A Modern Mother said...

Too funny, blogging instead of working, the story of my life...


No, definitely NOT too early for a rhubarb bellini, Jane - sounds fabulous! Two features before lunchtime, Jane - now that really is going for it. I plan to squeeze in two feature before August, and I'm not even sure that might be a bit ambitious. Bring on the rhubarb bellinis, I say... xx

PS Thanks for that Butlins tip. Will inform bank manager immediately.

Edward said...

It's never too early for a rhubarb bellini if that's your bag. That dog has surely Got To Go?

Calico Kate said...

I thought you meant a blinni! So am laughing with tears and can't see to type. I'ts only coz I read everyone elses that I got the drift. It's late!
Very funny EJ. Hope the day/week got better though.
(defhn - Asbo J re mouse squeaks)

Exmoorjane said...

Frances: plastic - if they had been metal, I would have been SERIOUSLY scared. Toenails pale purple.

ArtSparker: sadly not.

Zoe: think cat pee wins, by quite a way.

FA: rubbish, isn't it?

DD: yeah, nice wasn't the first word that came to mind.

Pebbledash: would love a cat but not sure Asbo would!

Mark: ouch, poor Daniel - I've done that and it hurts like hell.

FeatherDuster: is it just small dogs? WHY???

Dave: You like my dog? Please, take him with my blessing.

Withy: things dogs don't like? Um, cat pee?

Chris: why do we always eat too much curry?

Clarey: thank you SO much.

Rob-Bear: will try... ;)

Fennie: HUGE sympathy for Sisyphus in this house.

Wildeve: mutual admiration society!

Jacqueline: sickening, that innocent look, isn't it? Butter wouldn't melt.

GG: yup, just looked and work still there!

Claire: Nope, not just you m'dear! We suffer together.

Maddie: ditto to above. Sometimes I really hate dogs.

Lampie: kennel is good idea. James did try to build one but dog refused to go in it. He is a totally lousy ratter - scared of them!

Milla: yup, good word for my poor stomach (now have added jelly babies to the infernal mix).

Welsh girl: easy peasy - simply chop up rhubarb, add sugar and a little water and simmer for about ten minutes. Then whiz in blender or whatever.... slurp.

Reasons: FACKEREA does it for me.

MM: rubbish mother eh? Rubbish about dropping the balls.

LBD: good luck with the bank manager.... why don't you come over and I'll feed you bellinis?!

Edward: think you've got a point. Have been trying to get rid of him for hte last six years - to no avail.

Kate: blinis on top of curry would have sent me to hospital!

CAMILLA said...

nDear Jane,

My humble apologies for not stopping by your blog, just trying to catch up.

Eek,.! mice eating the pipes, and Jack peeing up against the bed, think you need a Bellini..... as for writing out a blog good therapy you say for getting it out of one's system, thoughts come back to me of when I first came on to that CL post moons ago, your's was the first one I got 'hooked ' on dear Jane, you certainly lifted my spirits when. I was having a bad day.......... wonderful writing, still can't think why no publisher has not snapped you up.

As for JRT's, grhgrh, mine has just killed a baby blackbird, and a second one brought into the cottage, with me marigolds at the ready, trying to catch the chirping bird before Daisy has it for dinner.!


Annette Piper said...

I hate to say it but I'm glad other people have days like me. That's no help though, is it! I just soldier on and hope that maybe tomorrow a miracle will happen and things will get crossed off that to-do list!