Monthly Archives: September 2007

Floppy eared menace

Look what that pesky Sapphire has gone and done.  I don’t know, turn your back for five minutes…..


Filed under It could be bunnies, Rats, Reasons to be cheerful


I really fancy munching on some cheese and biscuits but I’ve run out of crackers.

What’s a fella to do in a situation like this?


Filed under Recipe for disaster, You decide

Never send a woman to do a man’s job.

Well if that title doesn’t get some comments then nothing will. 

We spent the weekend unpacking.  As much fun as this sounds I had really had enough of it by about midday on Saturday.

On Sunday we had reached the point where we couldn’t unpack anything else without some additional shelves.  With this in mind The Hildy set off into town with her sister and a list of specific bookcases to purchase….

…several hours later she returned with a rabbit.

No bookcases just a white, fluffy bunny.  Named Sapphire, Saffie for short.

We still haven’t decided on names for the rats though.


Filed under It could be bunnies, le château de grenouille, Rats

I’d like a Sainthood actually.

I’m so very tired today.  All this moving malarkey is no fun.

Quick update of the move to le château de grenouille:


  • Woke up at Unnatural O’clock in the morning surrounded by boxes and feeling decidedly ill.
  • Had a soak in the bath.
  • Packed like a slightly wobbly dervish…OK The Hildy packed while I performed manly moving boxes downstairs in silence.
  • At 7am I woke the tadpoles and fed them breakfast of croissants and tap water.
  • Ate a croissant really quickly.
  • Got hiccups.
  • More moving stuff around.
  • At 8:30am I sent the kids off to school and explained once again that I would collect them so they should NOT come back to the house.  Arranged to meet Snarly in the library.  Different school, different rules.
  • At 9am I went to the bottle bank.  I wouldn’t want anyone thinking that I’m an alcoholic or anything.
  • At 9:15 I return and briefly wonder why I hadn’t put the bins in the road to leave a space for the removal van.
  • At 9:30 the removal van arrives.  We spend the next hour and a half loading the van.
  • 10:48am I receive a text from the broker that we have completed and can now arrange to collect the keys.  I eagerly await a call from the estate agent.
  • We spend a while hoovering, mopping, cleaning and generally making the place spic and span for the new people.  I even empty the bins into neighbours bins (they said I could) so as to leave the place perfect. 
  • The removal chaps disappear off to lunch.
  • By 1pm I’m starting to get annoyed.  I’ve gone shopping for lunch and we’re left sitting on the stairs trying to keep a very stressed cat happy.  The estate agent is claiming not to have a phone number for the former owners of le château de grenouille and haven’t got the keys.
  • Six phone calls to the estate agent later I decide to go to le château de grenouille myself and see if they are still there.
  • They are.
  • They are sitting in the front garden smoking, drinking and laughing.  In.  My.  Property.  Apparently they are waiting for a phone call from their solicitor and can’t move till they get it.
  • I decide that politeness will get me further than incoherent rage and help them to load their tiny tiny van with as much stuff as I can.
  • 3:30pm I collect the kids and rush to the shops for some essentials.  Little Al drops a bag of shopping and floods a shop doorway in beer.  I tell him it’s OK and grit my teeth. 
  • 4pm arrives.  At this point I have not told the estate agent that I have the keys, the temporary squatters only have one more van to fill up and my two vans full of stuff are on their way to le château de grenouille to unload.  My hiccups are still tormenting me and I’m gasping for a cup of tea.
  • 4:45 the solicitor calls and tells me that I can move in.
  • 6pm, we finish unloading the vans.
  • Apparently it is socially acceptable to stand at the gate of a house and stare in through the doors and windows when people move in.  Comments are also welcome, particularly when they are intelligent and well presented.  For example: “Are you moving in then?” or “Is this all your stuff?”
  • 7pm I order Chinese. 
  • We put up one bed and give up.  Kids on mattresses again.
  • I have managed not to swear all day.


I’m working in East Sussex so I’m up early.  Everything aches and I’ve developed a cough.  The whole day isn’t even worth bullet points.  Except the last bit.  Everyone seems to have forgotten how to do their job so I spread my germs and explain all over again what it is that they are supposed to do.  I also have a surprise job interview for someone. 

When I get home I find out that the upstairs loo is broken and the electrics are a bit dodgy.

The estate agent still doesn’t know that I have moved in. 

I receive the solicitor’s bill.  This is the most efficient that they have been.

The Hildy has cheered up the house by purchasing four beautiful girl rats.  They escaped and played “hide in the boxes” and “let’s see if the cat is a stupid as she looks”.  We have nearly decided on Smudge and Templeton for two of their names but I need more.  Previous rat names have been Spike, Oz, Peter, Jack and Harry.  The ringleader of the Great Cage Escape may end up being called Houdini.


Today I am so tired that I think I may fall asleep at any moment.  My observations of the day are simply blurred as a result.  One thing comes to mind though.  Some people who get buses are a bit strange.  Don’t stare back at them.

I still can’t find my coat…or my dressing gown to cover my nudity during my morning ablutions.  Either would do.

Now I’m going home via a train and a bus or possibly for a long walk.  See you tomorrow.  hopefully I’ll get some rat snaps on my camera…if I can find some batteries.


Filed under le château de grenouille, Rats

It be International Talk Like a Pirate Day

What kind of pirate am I? You decide!
You can also view a breakdown of results or put one of these on your own page!
Brought to you by Rum and Monkey


Filed under Reasons to be cheerful


Tomorrow is International Talk Like a Pirate Day.  Don’t forget.


Filed under Reasons to be cheerful, van de graaf

Thursday Thirteen

I am moving house on Monday to le château de grenouille.  My broadband connection has been terminated already and I will be frantically packing* for the next few days so I won’t be around until at least Tuesday.  I know that you will all** miss me terribly so I thought I would share a Random Thursday Thirteen before I go.

Thursday Thirteen is a meme with one purpose:  to get to know bloggers better. Thirteen secrets they’ve never shared before, Thirteen random things about themselves or their lives that give the reader a better idea of who they are.

  1. I open all the cards before I open any of the presents even though it annoys people.
  2. I love getting letters but hate sending them.
  3. I’m more concerned with “how?” than “why?” and I always have been.
  4. I think that it is more important to have an opinion than to be right.
  5. I can sit in the lotus position.
  6. I can’t dance when I’m being watched.
  7. I prefer a little grocer, baker, paper shop and chemist to a supermarket.
  8. I can’t drive.
  9. I never swear out loud.
  10. I think that the future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades.
  11. I read the ingredients of packaged food before I buy them.
  12. I think that rainbows are the most amazing phenomenon in nature.
  13. I think that the moon would make an ideal location for a retirement village.

 Have a good weekend everyone. *waves*

*I have more to pack even though my house looks like an explosion at a cardboard factory.

**I know that some people read my gibber jabber even though hardly anyone comments.  I suspect that I only attract shy people or that I’ve offended everyone and you only come by to see if disaster have befallen me so you can gloat. 😉


Filed under le château de grenouille, Thursday Thirteen

I have a theory…

….it could be bunnies.

Having taken the decision to buy le château de grenouille (my 5 bedroom house that I shall be moving into on Monday) and sell l’étang de grenouille (the current home of the EU surplus box mountain) I have come to appreciate the benefits of good and efficient customer service….or rather I would have appreciated it if I’d had any.  I’ve been having trouble trying to understand how such diverse groups of people as estate agents, solicitors, and Internet service providers can all be so utterly crap.

It isn’t like they all work for the post office or anything.  I can understand how a monopoly can degenerate in service level to the lowest possible point.  Lack of competition breeds apathy.  If you don’t have a choice but to use a service then it really doesn’t matter how well or how poorly they treat you.

However for a company that operates in a normal competitive environment an upset customer will likely take their custom to a competitor and slag off the poor company to anyone who will listen.  Why then do they all seem to be so rubbish?

hoverFrog’s First Law of Customer Service Apathy

A company will naturally gravitate to the same level of service as it’s competitors.

hoverFrog’s Second Law of Customer Service Apathy

A company with sufficient customers to meet it’s payroll needs will cease to value them.

hoverFrog’s Third Law of Customer Service Apathy

The motivation of an employee is inversely proportional to the number of departments in the office where they work.


Filed under Cull, le château de grenouille, Shitbiscuits, You decide


Isn’t it funny how we all have our own little superstitions?  It may be an unwillingness to walk under a ladder (sensible if you ask me considering the things people drop from ladders) or a white elephant kept for luck.

As skeptical as I am I still have my own and I thought I’d share them with you.

  • I have an African devil that I keep by the door.  My father brought it back from African after a tour there in the 60s (before I was even born).  He’d been told by a local that when a devil would visit the tents of people to steal their souls he would see that a devil was already there and leave.  This masterful piece of salesmanship convinced my father to buy this ugly wooden figure and I now keep it to safeguard my home.
  • I follow the old adage that you should keep something for nine years and only throw it away if you haven’t found a use for it after this time.  Consequently my home is filled with junk that I carry from house to house whenever I move.  Most of the stuff I do keep does actually get thrown out in the end.
  • When moving into a new home it is important to place a house leek on the roof.  Traditionally this is for a turf roof but a potted one or a grow bag on the roof of the entrance will do.  It is supposed to keep lightning away from the house.

 I don’t, for a moment, believe any of these superstitions but I still follow them.  Perhaps it is out of habit or simply for peace of mind in an old tradition repeated.  Do you have any superstitions that you follow?


Filed under You decide

Human Cull III

OK in addition to estate agents and solicitors I now have to add Internet service provider admin staff to my human cull list.

I’m not sure if I have mentioned this in the past 😉 but I am moving house shortly.  My completion date is now 17th September.  In preparation for my move I have contacted several utility companies and asked to transfer service to the new address.

Tiscali (my ISP) cut off my broadband yesterday.  Presumably this is because the 6th looked similar to the 17th.  Honestly though, everyone makes mistakes.  A quick phone call should have sorted this out, wouldn’t you think?


No apology, no admittance of error, no fix.  I am now looking for a new ISP and have to come to the library for my blogging fix.

Still, we exchanged contracts today and I’m on a promise so it’s all worked out OK. 😉


Filed under Cull, le château de grenouille, Reasons to be cheerful