Monday, 31 August 2015

Rage Against The Machine (And Against The Son)

Before I start - does this happen in everyone's house? We had just finished tea and I was outside when Ole came running out. 'Look what she's done!' he shrieked. Meanwhile, from inside, 'she', better known as 'Lady M' was laughing at having taught her first born a valuable life lesson. Number one, do not put ice down the back of mum's top. Number two, especially don't put ice down the back of mum's top when she has a ketchup bottle to hand. As Ole was busy removing his ketchup soaked top, the triumphant Lady M urged me to give him both barrels of the mayo and barbeque sauce.

Anyway, that brings me on to the subject of washing. As a result of Sally completely giving up the ghost in terms of who wears which underwear, Zac can now be seen in mine, Ole's and occasionally his own. He has so far steered clear of Lady M's, but it can only be a matter of time.

There have been a few questions about my most popular post regarding the Prom Bitch. In answer to your question, no I have not had an apology, and nor do I expect one. Let's just say that there are certain things that appear to run in the family!

It's been argumentative recently, mainly between Zac and Sally. She tries in vain to tidy his room, he does not really understand the fuss. "I've had enough!" she exclaimed after one particularly frustrating episode, to which Zac replied, "No - I've had enough". Today he appeared to get the upper hand again. The conversation went something like this...

Zac, "Where's the hot glue gun?"
Sally, "Probably where you left it"
Zac, "No, I left it on the side. Did you move it from the side?"
Sally, "Yes - I will have put it away"
Zac, "Where?"
Sally, "Probably in the garage. You'll find it there"
Zac, "No - you go and find it - you moved it"
Sally, "I'll do it later. I'm watching tv"
At this point Zac pressed the Live Pause button
Zac, "You'll get it now"

Sally eventually got up and after searching a number of places she finally found the hot glue gun, at which point Zac looked rather smug.

The Raven finished over a month ago, but I got a nice email from Underground Venues this week informing me that payment of £451 will be coming my way! That's not bad considering they take 40% of the box office. For those that missed it there's a rather shaky video courtesy of Lady M of the final show that was more 'relaxed' than the other three!

The Raven

The last Whaley Warriors home game produced a fine pan of chicken & potato balti. Unfortunately that is the last of my home made balti sauce. That means the house is gonna stink of curry whilst I make some more. Want the recipe?

Mmm No1 Cookbook

Sometimes, the myth can be so strong that it propagates itself. Sally sent an enquiry regarding the hire of a holiday cottage. She did not leave her name, just her email address, ladymadden1@gmail.com. So it came as no surprise when the reply came, and it began...

Dear Lady Madden.

Of course, Lady M did nothing to dissuade the sender!

We had an interesting few days away last weekend, and for a variety of strange reasons. Firstly we headed for London, and our hotel was at the south end of Westminster Bridge. I have never driven through the centre of London before, but Zac was fascinated by the Lamborghinis and Bugattis that seemed to rival the taxis in terms of numbers.

He quite fancied this one that came to a stop at the traffic lights outside the hotel, and one day I think he might just get one!


We went to the London Dungeon. We've been before, and although the 'shows' are all new, the tricks certainly aren't which took something away from it. Still a good experience and I would recommend it if you've not been before. Here's a tip. Book the later tickets online - these are cheaper. And if there's no queue, which there wasn't on Friday, they will let you in early anyway.

Afterwards we went to Joe Allen's which is a classic American 'Steaks & Burgers' type restaurant. Very nice, great ambience, but...if you are going to buy a steak don't compare it to American ones, and...they don't do burgers apart from veggie burgers and that doesn't really count. Anyway, apart from the wine it was reasonably priced and well worth a visit. The following day Sally and Ole blubbed their way through Billy Elliot whilst myself and Zac went in search of Minions. Billy Elliot himself apparently had a very annoying voice, whilst Minions is not as good as it could be, but at least it got us out of the stifling London heat for a couple of hours. The next two days were spent visiting relatives near Ashford in Kent, where Ole got his first taste of adult football, and Zac continued a sausagefest that started at Joe Allen's and ended with Richmond's in Smarden. On Monday we headed for home via Ashbourne. I mention this as we decided to pull in to Sainsbury's car park where Sally decided to do a little bit of shopping, We were in her Range Rover Sport, and I waited in the passenger seat. A car pulled up alongside us, and as the woman driver got out her door touched the Range Rover. I opened the door to check the damage, and the woman rather sternly said, "There's no mark". I checked, and she was indeed correct. There was no mark. I was about to close the door when she spoke again. "You are on the line. If you had not parked on the line I would not have hit you."

I considered pointing out that as I was in the passenger seat I had not parked on the line, and I also considered pointing out that not only were the lines actually doubled to allow even more room, but that there were acres of empty parking spaces, including the one on the other side of her. If she had parked there she would have had to open her door and propel her broomstick at the Range Rover Sport to make a mark, but I didn't. Maybe I could have suggested an apology would have been in order? But no. I'm a Libran, you see. Don't like confrontation apparently. Anyway, I looked through and beyond her, to the aforementioned empty spaces, and shook my head at her inability to a) park, and b) apologise for her clear mistake. Hmm, maybe it is me. That's two apologies I am waiting for.

I closed the door and watched as she went to the pay station immediately in front of us. I continued to shake my head with disdain, particularly when she looked back into the Range Rover as she returned to her vehicle. I certainly did not expect what happened next.

She got back into her car, slammed her door into the side of ours, not once but twice, and then drove off. Unfortunately the exit from the car park takes her around a grass verge, which meant that I could get out of the car, amble across the verge, and get a clear look at her and her registration. Ole and Zac, who were in the back at the time, revelled in the drama. Ole clocked the registration, but couldn't remember it. Zac was quite prepared to give a full report of the whole incident, even though he was on his iPad for the majority of it. Ashbourne police station was closed, but on Tuesday I turned up at Chapel and gave a statement. As did Sally. Within 48 hours the woman had been contacted and claimed it had all been an accident. I 'intimidated her', so much so that she forgot to buy a lettuce, which was the reason she had made that fateful trip to Sainsbury's. She had also forgot to judge the distance between her car and Lady Ms, and to offer an apology for her original very minor and inconsequential 'mistake'.

She is about to find out the cost of her 'accident', Range Rover Sport repairs do not tend to be on the cheap side, and the damage is such that it probably requires a new door.

Back to more normal matters, and we were proud and relieved when Ole finally got his exam results. He enrolled at Aquinas where he is taking maths and psychology alongside his favourite subject, drama. Many students adopt 4 subjects which allows them to drop one if it all gets too much, but for Ole, drama takes up way too much time for that luxury. He will have to content himself with the fact that his backup plan appears to be panto!

Its been a busy time for Zac, and he is in training for his assault on Kinder with auntie Fiona which is set for next Saturday. He has had an XBox all nighter, for which he demanded Lucozade and snacks, and last weekend he made his debut for Whaley Bridge 2nd XI, scoring an unbeaten 4 and fielding for 6 overs before deciding that fielding is a bit boring whereupon his mum came to take him home.

In medical news my latest appointment has been brought forward to Monday 7th September. It is then that I should find out if an op is required.

In legal news, Sally received a disturbing letter from Parking Eye threatening County Court proceedings if she didn't pay up. This is standard practice, but on this occasion they cited a recent court case, Parking Eye vs Beavis, at which the judge awarded the case to Parking Eye. This case has since been submitted to the Supreme Court, and if you have an outstanding PCN I would keep an eye on it! Of course Sally has two, one of which should be scratched as she actually shopped in Aldi which should invalidate the PCN. The second one was the one that County Court action is being threatened on, and she is not alone. Several of the NHS staff parked in the same car park that night, and all received the PCN. There was a joint complaint, and lo and behold, the day after the County Court letter, a second letter arrived informing Sally that the charge had been dropped! I wonder if a refund would have been provided if she had already paid?!

Finally, a question from Zac. Why don't our bodies rot whilst we are still alive?

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Another One Bites The Dust

Get out the Queen CD again, cue track 2, and....play. "Another one bites the dust, another one bites the dust, and another one's gone and another one's gone, another one bites the dust."

Yes Sally has been cooking again. The pan had been destroyed, binned and replaced before I knew anything about it. So what complex culinary concoction (remember the Good Old Days?) could possibly have caused this kitchen calamity. A gentle roux? A flambe? No, boiled carrots. I kid you not. I have now banned her from various pans that remain intact for now.

You know that bit towards the end of the news where there's a quirky little story usually involving children and / or animals? Well Zac does not approve. "How is that news? There's a plane crash, and immigrants, and now that. How many people are interested in that?"

It got worse, as with his brother at YNot he had the run of the house. "Are you missing him?" "Not really, its good being an only child, I get more attention."

And speaking of YNot, Ole had a thoroughly good time, until he came home and looked in the mirror. 4 days of festival life left him spotty and blotchy. He is now on a get fit program to ensure he is in tip top condition for college life in September.

Back to the other one, and apparently the speaker on his iphone does not work. "You need to fix it," he demanded of his mother, then came the threat. "I gave you forty quid, and its broken. If you don't fix it I will sue. There is a four year old girl on Youtube who sued her parents."

Last Sunday saw the boys play in the same cricket team for the first time, a very proud moment despite the result, and of course Zac predicted the crushing defeat beforehand. The pressure of his younger brother playing spurred Ole on to score 34, his highest total of the season. For some reason, several people are comparing the events of that game to my latest Captain's Blog! Strange that!

WBCC Captain's Blog

The above cricket match featured a huge chilli in the Big Pan that finally ran out of gas. Can't remember how many Big Pans we have had, but it must be into double figures, not bad for a £23 refill. Next up is the Glossop Lions game on 16th August when we could well return to an old favourite, chicken and potato balti.

For all of you youngsters out there, Zac reckons that Facebook is for old people. Instagram is where its at, and he has set up his own account. His followers are growing!

I was all set to get a knee brace fitted yesterday, until an opportune call from my physio. Carolyn Edwards has the physio room above the pet shop in Whaley and I thoroughly recommend her. She asked me about the brace, and my consultant, and told me that I should see a proper knee surgeon before making expensive decisions like that. Apparently my knee specialist is just a doctor, a physician, a GP! So, I arranged for another consultation, this time with a Mister as opposed to a Doctor, so I should know more by Monday night.

My cycle to Marple took an interesting twist yesterday when Ole and Zac came with me. I didn't think they would, but spurred on by the prospect of a Costa hot chocolate and a chocolate muffin, Zac did his best to keep up. On arrival Ole was hungry, so the hot chocolates were accompanied by a panini. Once that had gone, the boy Adonis spied a Greggs next door, and so a sausage roll was added to the menu. Suspect we might need to let out those new college trousers a tad.