We have received a piece of post – a gadget/DIY catalogue – addressed to three Helens – Mr Helen Grines, Mr H Grines and Helen Grines (surname disguised by me). Who are all these people?
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.
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!!
Poor Sparrow – despised and ridiculed by most people who enjoy living here. Now, to add insult to injury, Sparrow has been dubbed “Ratland” because of all the rats that enjoy living here too.
Our beloved home town has been on the news for being infested with rats – worse than Hamelin – after a couple of video clips emerged showing scores of rats skipping about in broad daylight – helping themselves to a light lunch from some bin bags and also scurrying about busily under an underpass.
Regular readers of helenandjo.com will know that we have had our own battles with rats – Helen kills them on a regular basis with her trays of blue poison.
In the light of the rat surge someone has set up a group called Fixit Sparrow to tackle environmental health issues and I have joined. So far we have done nothing – not even contact the nearest pied piper, which would be the logical first step.
When Helenandi go to the allotment we are often greeted by fellow allotmenteers who say things like “long time, no see”, “I haven’t seen you here for a while”, and other annoying things like “hello, part-timer”.
It is true we don’t see some of these people that often. When we go to the allotment they are frequently NOT THERE but we don’t go round pointing this out all the time. In fact, we were at the allotment on Saturday and NO ONE ELSE was there – where have all those part-timers and slackers got to, we wondered?
Anyway, the other day was some kind of record. We had been working on our allotment – as we often do – and as we were leaving the man who has hair growing out of his ears and often jumps when you say hello, possibly because he is deaf (possibly because of the hair), greeted us with: “Hello! I haven’t seen you for TWO YEARS.”
This is a) not true and b) very annoying.
A horrid thing happened last night. I was eating some crisps and put a handful in my mouth and was suddenly chewing on something distinctly furry. Aghast, I pulled the “thing” from my mouth. All I can say is that it looked quite a lot like a mouse’s tail although it probably wasn’t. I should have kept the “thing” and then I could have taken a photo for you all to see and maybe sent it off to a lab to be analysed. Also, I could have written a strongly-worded letter to the manufacturers of the crisps and demanded compensation. However, I think I was in shock because I just wanted the “thing” as far away from me as possible so I threw it away and tried to block it from my mind. Suffice to say, we didn’t eat any more of the crisps.
Here are a normal pair of wellingtons of the kind you’d wear to the allotment or on a muddy walk. Or are they? I was cleaning these wellies just now when I realised they are NOT a pair of wellingtons but two different wellingtons.
Note the different treads on the soles.
Note the different lines/markings.
One of the boots says it is made in Italy but the other is of unknown origin. I have ODD boots. But how? This is yet another HelenandJo Mystery.
Let’s think like Miss Marple. There are many possible solutions:
1) I bought odd boots at the garden centre (possible but unlikely)
2) They are meant to be different because it is trendy (unlikely)
3) I have somehow mixed up one of my pairs of green wellingtons with another (I have three similar pairs although I can’t recall when any of them have met any of the others as they all live in different places – Sparrow, Northbamptonshire with Helen, and at my second home in Groxley Green)
4) I have somehow mixed up my size 9 green wellingtons with a pair of size 9 green wellingtons belonging to someone else, perhaps in Spales where there are many different wellies lying around all over the place (this is probably what has happened)
Anyway, it is all very embarassing. The reason I was cleaning them is because I will be wearing them to a smart-ish event this weekend where everyone goes around in tweed and wax jackets. Hopefully no one will notice my wellies don’t match but I will KNOW and I am already feeling anxious and unsettled because I like things to MATCH. I will have to try and forget about it but it will be very difficult and will probably ruin the whole weekend. I wish I HADN’T cleaned the mud off now as it is much more obvious they are NOT THE SAME.
You’ve heard of Hollywood and Bollywood – now there is Sparrowood! The Civic Quarter has been taken over by film trucks for some kind of big film, proving that Sparrow is a glamorous and desirable place to live. No one seems to know what the film is. All I know is that it needs many, many trucks and cranes, as you can nearly see here in these photos.
It is good that our Civic Centre may be immortalised in film seeing as it is about to be knocked down to make way for millons of flats (850 flats). The new development will be called Poets’ Corner, which is perfect for the idyllic high-rise blocks that are planned.