Category Archives: le château de grenouille

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

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

…and relax

Cake Worm, Tiny Tash and Little Al are back at school.  They have school uniforms, new shoes, new backs, new lunch boxes and new stationery.  This is because we packed (OK I packed) everything for school before our move date was changed for the first time. 

Snarly didn’t make it to school today.  Instead she has spent the last few days being very poorly with a tummy bug.  She has also managed to have a normal blister on her heal turn into an infected puss fulled sack of evil that I took no pleasure in stabbing with a scalpel and draining yesterday.  She’s spending today at home with her mother. 

The Hildy is taking the opportunity to avoid going back to work and to start her TMA which is due in on Thursday.  I also started my TMA which is also due in on Thursday.  Plenty of time.

Anyway, other than ranting about how much I hate estate agents and solicitors (which is getting old) and moaning about putting off our move again (this time it’s the 17th September) I’ve got very little to say.  Instead I wish to share some happy photos of my loving family.

Tiny Tash looking thoughtful.

Cake Worm caught in the act.

Snarly the big drip.

Little Al at 100 metres above sea level sitting on some glass.

The Hildy, busy packing.

Riz, the stupidest cat in the world.


Filed under le château de grenouille, Reasons to be cheerful


A chicken walks into the library. It goes up to the circulation desk and says: “book, bok, bok, boook”.
The librarian hands the chicken a book. It tucks it under his wing and runs out. A while later, the chicken runs back in, throws the first book into the return bin and goes back to the librarian saying: “book, bok, bok, bok, boook”. Again the librarian gives it a book, and the chicken runs out. The librarian shakes her head.Within a few minutes, the chicken is back, returns the book and starts all over again: “boook, book, bok bok boook”. The librarian gives him yet a third book, but this time as the chicken is running out the door, she follows it.The chicken runs down the street, through the park and down to the riverbank. There, sitting on a lily pad is a big, green frog. The chicken holds up the book and shows it to the frog, saying: “Book, bok, bok, boook”.

The frog blinks, and croaks: “read-it, read-it, read-it”.

So, I finished 2001: A Space Odyssey, the novel of the film of the screenplay, on Thursday and I’ve packed all my books in preparation of my house move that was supposed to be yesterday.  It is now next Friday.

Anyway this leaves me without a single book to read.  I think that you’ll agree that this isn’t a situation that you ever want to be caught in.  In order to preserve my sanity, put off doing TMA 04, avoid packing and generally escape the house I popped to the shops yesterday for a wander.  I was passing Help The Aged when a book title caught my eye.  An old book that I’d never read.

I had to rush in an purchase John Wyndham’s The Midwich Cuckoos for the princely sum of 39p.

I’ve read The Day of the Triffids and The Seeds of Time and enjoyed them immensely and I’m sure everyone has read The Chrysalids at some point in their lives.  I read it first at school and again every few years after that and can highly recommend it for anyone. 


Filed under le château de grenouille, Reasons to be cheerful, You decide

Jelly Brained Solicitors

I was planning on moving house on Friday.  I mean my house does look like an explosion at a box factory.  We’re even using the stronger boxes as furniture.

Unfortunately my solicitor has forgotten to deal with one or two vital points including a Deed of Covenant and the signature of a witness on a document that they have had for two months.  The buyers of my humble abode have a solicitor even less competent than mine because they have forgotten to order the Drainage and Water searches that they should have ordered as soon as they were instructed. 

Everyone is angry.  The people we are buying from are angry because they want to move and no one is telling them what the delay is.  We’re angry because everyone we deal with seems to have lime jelly for brains.  The buyer of my house are angry because he is in London and needs to drive back one night to sign a piece of paper that he could have had ages ago.  His mum is angry, I’m not sure why, maybe she’s clingy but that’s beside the point.  The only people who aren’t angry are the estate agents who will soon be paid a vast sum of money for doing very little.  This is making me angry.  Even the kids are angry.  OK, we took their beds down and they have to sleep on the floor but I’m sure that is some jelly brained solicitors fault somehow.

I may hulk out tomorrow.

Plus I now have to buy some food….and some alcohol.

I apologise in advance for rude and/or cutting comments that I may come out with in the next ten days.  I may just stick to egg related blogs to be on the safe side.

I’m going to bed now to stew in my own suppressed rage.


Filed under Cull, le château de grenouille, Shitbiscuits

Eventful weekend (possible a little graphic for those with delicate dispositions)

So, good weekend everyone?

I had a day off on Friday to do some work for my own company.  A simple installation of Quickbooks and roll out over two users.  What a palaver!  I blame fact that an expected one hour job went on for three hours on Windows Fecking Vista.  Control Panel?  Where is the damn thing?  Oh there it is.  WTF!  Networking?  Oh I have nineteen different options to choose from.  TCP/IP?  Two flavours.  I hate it and heartily recommend to the whole world that they either stick with XP, wait for the new version of Windows to come out in a few years or use Linux.

Anyway, popping out for an hour on my day off turned out to last until lunchtime.  When I got home the kids had managed to trash the entire house.  I dread the day that they start drinking alcohol if this is the kind of mess they can make when they’re sober.  We spent the rest of the day making everything right and tidy again.

I also had a rant at the estate agent and, to give them their due, they rang up all the solicitors involved in the sale of my house and the purchase of le château de grenouille.  By 2pm I had an estimate for completion of the sale and purchase and the solicitor had updated their tracking web site for the first time in a month.  Estate Agent: One, Solicitor: nil.  It looks like we’ll be moving on the 31st August, exactly one month after we told them that we wanted to move by.

Only two phone calls from work so it was quite a good day off all round.

Saturday was spent in a more sedate manner with The Hildy and I spending some quality time together keeping our relationship vibrant. 😉  The kids had to fend for themselves which is why the house was again wrecked when we emerged from the bedroom at lunchtime.  Much directing ensued and the place was soon spic and span all over again despite accusations of child slavery from Snarly Beth.

We decided on a pub lunch rather than mess up the shiny kitchen surfaces so departed in a northerly direction to said eating and drinking establishment.  Scarcely two minutes down the road we witnessed a robbery and getaway in progress.  A hairdressers had been robbed and the owner was trying to stop the robber (a young blonde woman and her two grubby children) from escaping in their land rover.  I tried to open the door to no avail and phoned the police with the licence number and description.  Typically of the local constabulary they arrived mere moments after the villains had escaped.  We gave our statements and the excited kids immediately wanted to ring all their friends to tell them the news.

It’s sad to see people taking their kids to work with them. 

After an enjoyable lunch with suitable mirth and frivolity we did a little shopping and went home.

Top tip: When condom shopping always have one partner take the kids to the newsagent while the other pops into the chemist for some “medicine”.

Sunday was less eventful that the previous day as it features exactly zero robberies or high speed car chases but I did get all the ironing done and the laundry monster was beaten into temporary submission.  In the afternoon we had the usual visit from The Hildy’s olds and big sister and, of course, baby Sean.  Baby Sean is now five whole years old and a strapping brute to boot but even when he reaches the precipitous heights of his father (6’6″) he will still be Baby Sean.  It’s just one of those things that families do.

As usual I retreated to the kitchen before they left to prepare dinner and I enlisted Tiny Tasha’s aid.  She chops carrots and makes gravy like an expert.  I may also have started a bottle of Valpolichella by accident.  Well, it gives some extra flavour to the gravy.  I can’t leave an open bottle either.

We also got to watch X-Factor which I’m afraid I still can’t stand.

Now that I’ve bored you with my weekend’s activities please reciprocate.


Filed under le château de grenouille, Reasons to be cheerful