20 Jun 2011

Hestia and a bit of a weird week

Weirdness 1:

When My Day Carer took on the role of Secretary to the local Agricultural Society, I did - of course - offer my services to help make her job a bit easier.  I envisaged nothing more taxing than sending out a newsletter, perhaps some arduous stamp-licking...at worst a complicated spreadsheet.

But somehow I am now responsible for organising a Dog Show at the Agricultural Show.  I don't know the first thing about how to do it, but she has confidence in my abilities.  I mean, how hard can it be?  Stand by your beds in mid August after the show and I'll tell you EXACTLY how hard it can be.

Weirdness 2

I am on the phone to The Meerkat's mother and I idly wander to the front window as I chat.  I see that my lawn has a light smattering of snow.  No, it's not snow, I realise - it's FOAM.  FOAM!!! I hang up the phone and run outside.  The high winds have whipped the foam into the roses and the clematis is looking absolutely pathetic.

This is roughly what my front lawn looked like.  Sort of.  I'm exaggerating.  A lot.

What the fuck has happened? Could it be the new Ecoballs in the washing machine?  If so, Tartarus will KILL me!

I hurtle myself out to the garage where Tartarus is visible only by his steel toe-capped boots sticking out from under the car.  There is a lot of swearing and he is twatting something VERY hard with a hammer.

I tell him about the bubbles.

In a flash he is out from under the car and the invective is now directed at my Ecoballs.  Worryingly, he still has the hammer in his hand.  I try not to look at it.  I also decide not to retrieve the camera to take a picture of the devastation for m'blog.

Together we run around to the front gate and survey the bubbly damage.  But how on earth can the washing machine drain into this drain - it's at the other side of the house and, as a result, much higher than our rear drains. The ire of Tartarus is awesome to behold.

He looks angry, then puzzled and then lapses into silence.  'Ah!' he says, quietly.

He knows what the problem is: The roofer, called in the day before to fix some loose slates and get rid of moss has, apparently, let a gallon of bleach off over the roof.

'I didn't know about this!' I bridle (after all, I'm using the bloody Ecoballs to help save frogs' skins).

'No' stuttered Tartarus sheepishly, 'he told me not to tell you because he knew you'd go off your head. All the torrential rain must have made it go bubbly.'

I realise that I AM going off my head.  In my slippers.  In the street.  In the blinding rain.

'Well, there is one way to see whether it's the bleach on the roof,' I huff. 'Let's go upstairs and look out the window at the gutters,' I stomp my way upstairs.

And yes, sure enough, there is a froth of foam all along our gutters.

I notice my neighbours walking past and looking up at the white foam-filled gutters strangely.  We must seem like weird people to live next door to.  Possibly because we ARE.

Weirdness 3

Picture the scene: Tartarus and I are sitting at lunch.

Tartarus:  You know Jim?

(Jim died a few months ago.  A childhood friend of Tartarus's, it was an unexpected death and even though Jim would pick a fight with his shadow, he had a good heart and he died much too young.)

Me:  Yes, I know Jim.  Knew Jim. What about him?

Tartarus:  Well, you know how he was cremated?

Me:  Yes, I know he was cremated.  What about it?

Tartarus:  Well, you know how we're going to the Isle of Man in July?

Me *with tight feeling in stomach*  Yessssssss......

Tartarus says nothing but cuts up his bacon and egg, searching for the right words.  Unfortunately for him, I find the right words before he does.

Me:  Are you trying to tell me that we are going to take Jim's remains to the Isle of Man with us? On holiday? To scatter somewhere on the TT course????

Tartarus nods.  He does not look up from carefully sawing his bacon rasher into ever smaller pieces.

I eat my toastie and consider taking another epic flaky fit, the likes of which have not been seen outside of an asylum or the preliminary rounds for The X Factor.  I reconsider.  I liked Jim.

Me:  Shall we take him for a last pint first, before we scatter his ashes then?

Tartarus looks relieved:  Yes please.

Me:  My only stipulation is that Sonshine does not know that Jim is travelling in the boot of the car.  That  will make too weird an entry for What I Did On My Holidays for me to adequately explain away at Parents Night.

Tartarus agrees.

How weird is your week?


  1. Ali, it's taken me 10 minutes to stop laughing so much so I can type a response! Brilliant! Tartarus let the roofer do WHAT to the roof? And Jim... Oh, poor Jim! Make it a nice large dram for yourself when you do that for him hon. You'll need it!! :)

  2. my week was pretty normal, but the weekend was epically bizarre: on friday, we had friends over, and i consumed just the right amount of tequila. the following night we went to a party heavily favoured by academic lesbians, and i had just the right amount of wine.

    it is ridiculously rare for me to have just the right amount of booze - 99.87% of the time i consume far too much. to have just the right amount for two nights in a row is close to miraculous.

  3. V. entertaining - are you living the Vida loca or what? Dog show sounds great fun but foaming garden not so much. Is there a bleachy smell or just foam? A friend of mine uses it on her "patio" to get rid of weeds/lichen - smells ghastly and she'll prob. be flayed alive by skinless frogs in the next world. Finally The Ashes - well, you're a very nice lady. Good job you're not flying - that might take some explaining at the EasyJet gate! :) xxx

  4. Ali,
    I love you guys. I wish you were my neighbours.

  5. hilarious.....can't wait to hear how the ashes go.....I found myself sitting in a pub on Friday I used to go to about 27 years ago, full of people who were about 27 years younger than me yet seemed to wearing the same clothes I wore then...made odder by the fact that I went to a bar in Amsterdam I'hadn't been to for about 27 years....my life is flashing before me!!x

  6. YaH - I can guarantee you that the disposal of Jim's ashes will be a blog post. There will be pictures. But nothing too distasteful - he was a friend, after all ;-)

    SB - so the hammer-wielding doesn't frighten you?!

    Mrs Exeter - I am appalled at the bleach thing. I try really hard to be environmentally friendly and then get blind-sided by my hubby *sigh* Easyjet would make us pay for another seat, probly!

    Polish Chick - Maximum respect - you are the first person that I've ever met who has managed to walk that tightrope. Most of my friends tip over into the 'flying a bed' stage when they eventually hit the sack. I include myself in that category.

    Lou - my day has gone progressively more pear-shaped, but so many things have happened in the space of 24 hours that no-one would believe me if I had to write it down - busted pc, outside tap suddenly failing and spraying us with water as we sat with our wee lager shandy in the afternoon, Sonshine falling at school and needing clean trousers delivered....Tartarus taking up trousers that were for aged 8 (he's 10!) that were not only too small, but had one hem entirely down. Needless to say, my son phoned demanding another pair of trousers. Pass the gin please.


  7. Dear Alison, If I'd been you, I would have just been so happy the bubbles weren't my fault! I do feel for you in advance of the dog show as if everything goes well it shall be death by spreadsheet (I once foolishly volunteered to organise a veteran's half marathon and am forever changed by this experience). I wonder whether you might rethink having word to Sonshine - I can imagine him fossicking in the trunk and bits of Jim going everywhere. I hope the rest of the week is uneventful for you, restful even. Lindaxxx

  8. Linda - 'fossicking' is my new favourite word!!! It's proving quite trying, this week - and it's only Monday.

    Tomorrow I go for a spa day in Glasgow - a contradiction in terms if there ever was one.

    Ali x

  9. If they have sniffer dogs at the port, don't let them in the boot, otherwise they might scoff poor Jim.

  10. It could be worse, Tartarus might want to do a Keith Richards and snort Jim's ashes!

  11. At least the garden will be clean. You may not have any flora or fauna left alive in it, but it will be clean!

  12. First, i now actually have a stitch from laughing! The bubbly gutters could only happen to you. You don't even have a dog do you?

    It sounds a very apt send of for Jim, you are a good friend (and wife).

  13. Oh, what a good post.
    I can just imagine you as Dog Wrangler and Poop-Scoper-in-Chief. I would advise plenty of pre-exhibition tranquilisers and/or vino. Don't forget to order a bulk supply of small plastic bags (or in the case of St. Bernards and Newfoundlands, big plastic bags)

    The foam sounds neat. I'm surprised that Sonshine wasn't making foam-men with it, or rolling about in it.

    The ashes are sad. Just be glad they don't have customs going into Douglas. I can just imagine the disaster you'd get yourself into:
    "What's this madam?"
    "What type of ashes?"
    "Human ashes"

    Just don't get Jim mixed up with the Nescafe...it could leave a nasty taste in your mouth.

  14. In a way it is a pity that you will not tell your son that Jim is in the boot. The drawing he would make of that would be a delight to see.

  15. Is this part of Tartarus' scorched earth policy for tidying the garden, I wonder?

  16. Bleach on the roof tiles? That sounds a tad dodgy!
    As for scattering ashes somewhere on the TT course - well I can tell you that you would be risking your (or Tartarus's) life and limb.
    The TT fortnight is when it is all official and there's barriers and hay bales and cushions on the lamp posts. Now it's every man for himself and the lamp posts are entirely bereft of red and white cushions!

    Take care with that xx

  17. I'm awaiting the post where you scatter the ashes with eager anticipation:)

  18. Another priceless one! I think it should impress your neighbours that you bleach your gutters, never mind the state of the bottom of the kitchen bin! It sounds like you've got a gremlin over the house at the minute - hope it didn't follow you to the TT and you don't inhale any of Jim x

  19. Ditto SB, I wish you lived next door to me. That would be fun! Love you xx

  20. Christina,
    Wouldn't you and I and Ali have a great time? We'd be into trouble all the time. Laugh.




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