Category Archives: le château de grenouille

…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

Laziness Test « The Magnificent Frog

Laziness Test « The Magnificent Frog

An update from yesterday.  The estate agent has just phoned me.

Estate agents are officially less lazy that solicitors.

Apparently the delay is with the solicitor of the people I am buying le château de grenouille from.  They must be even worse than my own solicitors. 😉

Oh and apparently it takes two (2) weeks to post a contract out for signature.  Presumably legal postage isn’t done by DX or the post office but by a specially trained team of blind and asthmatic snails (Similar to the post office in many ways).

Snail mail

On the plus side I’m meeting the beautiful Chloe for a pint after work where I will, no doubt, unkindly mock her new Cherry Lambrini style haircut.


Filed under le château de grenouille

On line tracking

I’m not expecting a package (apart from the new Harry Potter book from Amazon next week) but my conveyancer for the sale of l’étang de grenouille and purchase of le château de grenouille has an online tracking system that looks like this:

Case Steps   Actual End Date
Case Accepted – Sale   26/06/2007
Notification Of Sale   04/07/2007
Deeds Requested Transactional   06/07/2007
Deeds Received Transactional   17/07/2007
Contract Prepared & Sent Transactional   17/07/2007
All Initial Enquiries Raised    
Enquiries Completed    
Contracts Signed And Ready For Exchange Transactional    
Contract Exchanged – Sale Transactional    
Completion – Sale Transactional    

Why are they taking so long?  I’m checking the site every half hour and there is no change.  Why is that?  What are they doing?  The solicitors are obviously lazy.  Why can’t they work faster?  Who thought to put this on line where I can check it as often as I like?  I hate them and want to pull their wings off.

Some kind hearted soul* casually informed me that the conveyancers can complete the sale and purchase of a house in only one day if they actually pull their fingers out of their arses and work on it.  Now I didn’t appreciate the imagery of this much as I expect the deeds to my property to reach me (OK the bank) in an unblemished state.  I also have to sign some of these forms and hope that they wash their hands before posting them.  Really, think about what you say to a literalist like me people!

The Hildy and I agree that we are never moving again.

Tempers are fraying in le ménage de grenouille.  We really need to move soon.

In other news I am currently being eaten by every crawling and flying bug in the country.  I’m considering smearing myself in marmite in order to repel the beasties as I heard that marmite is an effective deterent against mosquitoes but I fear that this would just make me irresistable as a snack for lovers of English Jam**.

* read agitator
** The French apparently call Marmite “la Confiture Anglaise” rather than the literal translation of “Marmite” which means a large earthenware pot….apparently.


Filed under le château de grenouille, You decide

A real “buy me” face

I happened to find myself in the Big Pet Shop the other day looking at the pet rats.  I’m not sure how I got there…I think I may have tripped or something.  I wouldn’t normally go to the Big Pet Shop because they don’t play with the animals very much so they aren’t well looked after really.  The staff there are those faceless teenage clones that you find in chain stores.  The ones who don’t give a shit about the company (the company that pays them in buttons and maxpax coffee) and so don’t have a lot of interest in doing anything more than the minimum necessary.

The Little Pet Shop is run by tiny people who really love the animals.  They talk to them, play with them and keep them clean and well fed.  They refuse to sell pets to small children with disinterested parents and always offer helpful advice on pet care.  They can be quite forthright about it too despite being Lilliputians.  Sadly the Little Pet Shop has no pets rats for sale.  It’s part of their policy of only buying from rat breeders with reputations for healthy rats.

Anywho, Big Pet Shop have these adorably cute little baby rats.  There are ten of them in a small cage and, when I saw them, they were all sleepy and cuddled up in two big ratty heaps.  They really were too young to be separated from their mummies and I had to scowl at the number of them in such a tiny cage.

Then a teeny grey boy rat (who I named Oliver* when I saw what a straight arrow he was) ambled up to the edge of the cage and climbed up to get a better look at me.  He was that bluey grey sort of colour that you get with really soft rat fur (Russian Blue Cats sometimes get the same) and he was holding on to the cage with all four of his tiny little rat paws.  Then he looked at me with his deep black eyes that said “Please buy me.  I would be the best rat ever” in that silent way that rats have about them.

You can imagine the sort of strength of will** it took for me to escape from that yearning little face.  I’m going to have to avoid the Big Pet Shop in case he’s still there with his cute little “buy me now” face and those twitchy whiskers….at least until I move into le château de grenouille and can splurge on half a dozen rats and loads of rat toys.

*Oliver Queen aka Green Arrow
** A bit like Hal Jordan aka Green Lantern


Filed under le château de grenouille, Reasons to be cheerful

The survey says

A surveyor came round to …um… survey my house yesterday.  It actually looks like we’re going to be able to sell it and afford le château de grenouille.  It’s just so tiring sorting out the move.  Every time it rains I’m convinced that the garage will flood and all my valuables that I hid there to make my house look bigger will be ruined forever.

I just want to be able to leave the washing up in the sink for when I get home or not care that the loo seats are left up or all the milk bottles are put out rather than being left on the windowsill.  I hate all the tidiness and lack of clutter.

I hate having to deal with estate agents and their irritating falseness and lies.  I know they have a job to do but why not be honest about it.  Is there something in their blood that makes them choose lie over truth?  I really hate that the government will be getting a nice big chunk of tax money in the form of stamp duty from me just when I need to spend a lot of money of legal fees.  I hate the legal fees and the huge mark up the conveyancer adds on for even the most basic local searches.  I hate the greed of it all and especially the greedy part of me that covets the bigger house.

I am looking forward to each of the kids having a bedroom of their own so they have less reason to try to kill one another.  I’m looking forward to the clutter of unpacking, of getting new pet rats to share the house with us (boy rats this time), and to finding my way around a new neighbourhood again.  I’m looking forward to getting to know the neighbours and I’m hoping that they are at least half as good as the ones I’ll be leaving.

I’m not looking forward to sorting out all the utilities again or mail forwarding but it might be good to just write to everyone in my address book and give them my new address.  I could even use it as an excuse to renew a few old acquaintances.  You never know, it might be good for an antisocial git like me.

Now all I’ve got to do is sort out the new mortgage, get a surveyor of my own, pay everyone, pack and move.

No worries.


Filed under le château de grenouille

Pants on Fire

Arrgh! my hatred of estate agents continues to grow.  Soon it will grow so large as to block out the sun.

The latest debacle is as follows:

The current owners of the house (Mr Fed Up With Hafalax) that will become le château de grenouille if I get my way have found another buyer for their place.  Someone unrelated to the estate agency has made an offer.  This means that Lying Liars are all set to lose a significant commission if Third Party Man and his Wife buy the house.

I have had several offers for my house but all below what I am willing to let it go for.  I also have three more viewings at the weekend.  I’m taking this as a positive sign that someone might want to buy it.  However the Lying Liars are now coming up with all sorts of bollocks to try to get me to agree to accept a lower offer.  This will ensure that I get to buy le château de grenouille and they get two big lots of commission.  The only people who lose out are the sellers.  i.e. Me and Mr Fed Up With Hafalax. Their customers.

I’m so sick of the whole thing that I’m considering staying where I am and getting an extension built instead. 

Why can’t estate agents realise that they can simply tell the truth.  I won’t hold it against them if they tell me that they want to make a profit.  They’re in business to make a profit.  I’m clever enough to understand that.  It’s the lies and twisted half truths that get to me.

Lets have a bit of honesty for a change.

I was going to write about the Rodents of Unusual Size that I saw at the train station this morning.  I suppose that will have to wait until tomorrow now.  Ho hum.


Filed under Cull, le château de grenouille


I stole this from Jen Dziura. You can read her reason for this question on her blog. I am too lazy to repeat them. It is a matter of interest to me as I’m hoping to move soon into a vast mansion where every door has gold knobs.

However I am interested in your responses to her blog poll: How many hours per month do you have to work to pay your rent\mortgage? (For example, if you make £80,000 a year and pay £2,000 a month, that’s about £38/hour, so you work about 53 hours to pay your rent. If you work a £10/hr job and pay £450, you work 45 hours to pay your rent, which makes you, in a way, a little bit richer).

So please answer this in the comments: How many hours do you work to pay your rent, and what city do you live in?

You may choose to be anonymous of course but I’m nosey so please don’t.

Mine was 47.


Filed under le château de grenouille