The Christmas Jo

I arrived home to the H&J on Tuesday 21st November to find that Jo had put up all our Christmas decorations on the Christmas Twig.

I suggested that this was a little early, more than a month before Christmas, but Jo pointed out that my worries were groundless because, although she’d decorated the twig, she hadn’t switched the lights on and so Christmas wasn’t officially ‘launched’.  This is a bit like how places like Oxford Street put up their lights but it doesn’t count until a celebrity switches them on.

I don’t know which celebrity is switching our lights on, or when the official ‘launch’ will be.

Major victory

Three different shops and four different freezer flaps later and I have finally managed to secure the correct freezer flap to replace the broken one. This is a major victory marred only by the fact that the freezer flap is BLUE so does not match the others. However, it fits and that is all that matters.

In other online shopping news, I bought some lightbulbs because a lightbulb in the kitchen had gone. They arrived today but looked a bit dodgy. I installed one and it almost immediately exploded, showering the kitchen in glass. This was most disconcerting. However, I immediately complained to the company and within 15 mins had all my money refunded. Online stuff is annoying AND good.

Helen’s pet photography

Here is an excellent photo that I’ve taken of one of my new cats.  I have just acquired TWO cats which is one more cat than I planned on getting.  I would show you a picture of the other cat but I can’t always tell them apart so just look at this one twice.

The cats main hobbies are sleeping, playing on the stairs and trying desperately to get into my bedroom where they are not allowed on account of me being allergic to cats and needing somewhere to hide from them (I didn’t mention to the FAR.S.P.C.A. that I am allergic to cats).  It is their dream to get through any door that is closed.

The cats have many special beds and boxes to sleep in but so far like sleeping on a chair and a window sill.

Freezer flap

I am in a flap about a flap on my freezer. It has cracked and I am trying to replace it, something I assumed would be relatively straightforward as the same part has broken before and I replaced it then with no bother.

This time round has proved to be a frustrating mega-stress. I ordered the correct part but was sent a freezer flap that did not fit so returned it and asked the spares company to send me the right one instead. I spoke to a man who assured me the correct flap was flapping its way to me. However, that was the same as the first one – wrong.

In the picture below you can see the two flaps on top of each other. One has holes so it can be attached to sticky out bits on the freezer door and flap up and down. The incorrect replacement has sticky out bits that are incompatible with the existing sticky out bits. (I did explain the issue quite clearly to the man using these technical terms).

The picture of the part on the website showed exactly what I wanted but both times something different was sent. So I got fed up with that company and tried another one in the hope it would be third time lucky with flap three – aka threezer flap. THE SAME THING HAPPENED. Picture = flap I want. Flap that arrives = WRONG flap. Now I don’t know what to do as I can’t bear the idea of re-living this rollercoaster of emotions only to be disapppointed once again.

More of Helen’s brilliant wildlife photography

Joandi have been on holiday to the Silly Isles.  We saw many interesting wild animals, mostly seals and birds and stuff, although we did spot some whales/ dolphins from the ferry.  Here is another of my stunning wildlife pictures of Dave or Brian the seal (there were two who entertained us for quite a while).

Some people on the holiday didn’t think this was a brilliant photo and claimed that theirs with their ‘zoom lenses’ were better and showed actual detail like the seal’s flippers under the water, but mine is an accurate representation of what spotting a seal is like – a tiny blob in the middle of loads of water.

Verminous scum

Proof that I am not the only mad person who puts up signs when cross. Someone has gone to the effort of making a laminated, hand-written sign that they have suspended from a bush on the edge of a popular fly-tipping hotpsot just round the corner from the H&J.

“BEWARE,” it says. “Verminous scum who dump here will be reported on!! To the council/police by people who RESPECT their neighbourhood – film/phot/report!”

I think phot is short for photograph. Anyway, it is a very good sign featuring capitals, exclamation marks and underlining in red pen – and it has my whole-hearted support.

Travelblogdge

In exciting news, a hotel is due to open its doors close by. None other than Journeylodge – my favourite budget hotel chain. I have stayed at pretty much every single Journeylodge in England while touring around the country. You know exactly what you are going to get right down to the artwork on the wall, which is always a red orb floating in a blue background. Also – you used to get the smallest, thinnest bar of soap in the world but this has now changed to soap dispensers so there is even less danger of you using or taking more soap than you need.

Journeylodge is so cheap that I could stay at the one round the corner while we rent out the H&J to Air BnBers and still make a huge profit. This is definitely worth considering.

Wiggle niggle

Sparrow is in the forefront of innovative town planning with its new scheme for the main road near the H&J. As part of the project, funded by the mayor of Blondon, Sparrow Council hired a consultancy to bring disparate local businesses together to improve their rather scruffy shopping parade. This was very successful – the consultancy succeeded in uniting local businesses in their hatred of a) the consultancy b) Sparrow Council and c) the work that has been done to “improve” the area.

They have a point. The improvement works include an amusing take on double yellow lines – a wiggly line like a snake. All well and good – if it hadn’t been painted so badly.

I find the above very distressing. It is slapdash and untidy and makes me wince every time I walk past. If you’re going to do a silly wiggly line then at least do it properly!!