Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Tuesday miscellany

There's a man outside my house holding a stop/go board. It's temporary, to control traffic flow. Why do they need to control traffic flow? Because a plot of land half a dozen doors away from us is today becoming two houses. I looked down the road and there's an enormous crane. And on the road beside it, ready to be hoisted into place, is a house, covered in what looks like polystyrene (Styrofoam) sheeting.

It's come to this. Alongside this lovely little terrace of Victorian houses built in 1847, some cunt is dumping a pair of fucking prefabs. I foresee the day when some oik in local council decides they ought to rip down these eleven 160-year-old houses because they are spoiling the otherwise modern look of the area...

Today my brother is in Cardiff. Why on earth would he go to Cardiff?, you might ask. And it's a fair question. Other than going to check out Captain Jack's Torchwood base, I can see no other reason. But he's there for the first round of auditions for the new season of The X Factor. [That's kind of like American Idol, for those of you on the other side of the Atlantic.] The celebrity judges aren't at these early try-outs, so he won't get to meet Cowell. But he does have a history with the high-waistbanded one. Let's hope it doesn't affect his chances should he get through this first stage.

This evening, we have to pay the plumber. Y'know, for the work done in the kitchen. I say plumber, but he is really more like the foreman, since he arranges everything with all the other contractors. Indeed, he wasn't even present when our ktchen was done, because he was on holiday in the south of France. It seems like a long time to wait to pay him, but believe me, it's almost as difficult to get this guy to give us a bill as it was to get a quote out of him in the place!

At the weekend, I'm going to see my family. It will be the first time I have seen my mum, my sister, my brother, and most other family members in 18 months. Because they all never come to see us, y'see? So unless we go to them, we get bupkis on the visiting front. We've booked into a couple of B&Bs. This morning, we had to scour Google to try to remember the name of one of the ones we booked. I had booked it over the phone a couple of months ago and hadn't made a note of its name anywhere. Eventually we plumped for one in the same area and asked if they knew the name of any other B&Bs on that road, because we didn't know where we'd booked. The nice Welsh lady was very obliging. Now we know where we're going! What a plonker!

Other than that, I got nothing. I have a couple of projects that are due to finish today, and then tomorrow, Red and I are off to the dentist in the West End of old London town. So, we might even take in a bite to eat. Make the most of it. People are more attractive in London than they are where we live, so we may as well soak it up while we're there...

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck to your brother! I have done X-Factor a couple of times on undercover assignments fot the News of the Screws and I got through....therefore there is hope for anyone.

Plumbers are the luckiest people in the world. I am genuinly thinking about training as one, because they earn a shitting fortune for doing what doesn't seem like that much work. Hope they didn;t sting you too much!

19 June, 2007 13:17  
Blogger Glamourpuss said...

I wish I had a man with a stop/go sign - it would make life so much easier.


19 June, 2007 13:25  
Blogger Pie said...

For some reason 'Paying the Plumber' sounds like visiting an STD clinic...weird.

Good luck to your brother.

19 June, 2007 14:18  
Blogger lightupvirginmary said...

Enjoy your visit, I'm sure you'll come back with a tale to tell.
Is your brother any good?

19 June, 2007 15:08  
Blogger _z. said...

*(asterisk) they will never tear down Victorian houses for the sake of modern looking houses... They are protected... aren't they in the UK? do you have a pic of the houses?

have a nice visit with the family... and good luck to your brother.

19 June, 2007 15:28  
Blogger Biddie said...

Can't wait to hear how your brother does on X Factor! Will you let us know?
I hope that you have a good visit with family - all things considered..Hubbys family nevr comes to see us, either. We lived LESS than a block away from Hubbys parents for 2 years, and when relatives came for a surprise visit form Germany, nobody told us, or came to get us. In 2 weeks, not one person could pick up teh phone or travel LESS than a block to let us know...When we phoned during that time..it was never mentioned. GRRR...

19 June, 2007 20:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wasn't there some kind of community meeting, or board he had to get neighborhood approval from first? I know asking if they are part of a historic distric may sound silly seeing is the housing and other buildings there must go pretty far back, but still. You wouldn't be able to knock down a historic building here if it wasnt condemed.

Sorry for the "oik" building in your hood. What is an "oik" exactly?

20 June, 2007 01:59  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

HtDJ: Good to have you back, girl! Funny that you've done that! Exposés, like, of some sort? A few years ago down here everyone seemed to be retraining as plumbers. My guess would be that the market is flooded with them now (no pun intended), but who knows?

G/puss: Yeah, I guess it would!

Pie: Yeah, I quite liked the weirdness of the phrase as I typed it! Cheers.

20 June, 2007 09:20  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

LUVM: Oh, I'm sure there'll be plenty tales to tell... Is he any good? Yeah, he is. He doesn't sing my kinda thing, but he's good nonetheless.

_z.: I'm sure you're right, but you can't trust anything in the UK. There were whole Victorian streets due for demolition in the north, only to build new houses. And there was nothing wrong with them that a lick of paint and a bit of TLC wouldn't cure. Just last year. Ridiculous.

20 June, 2007 09:22  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Biddie: Of course, I'll keep you all updated. Families are crazy, aren't they? That is so weird what they did to you...

Pool: Yeah, there is, but people who are now about 50-70 years old over here are of that generation that rips down old things to make way for the new. Baby boomer types, I guess, marking their territory. They are singlehandedly responsible for the demolition of many historic buildings in the 1970s and 1980s, as well as the removal of period features such as fireplaces, cornices, ceiling roses etc. Huge shame.

An oik is "an uncouth or obnoxious person", so says the Concise Oxford English Dictionary.

20 June, 2007 09:26  
Blogger Milla said...

Oh I hate the dentist. She is a nice little lady but with my headaches every time I visit her practice my head is like a smashing pumpkin.

Talking about plumbers: my plumber is one of my old universtity pals, Steve. He was a plumber before doing the degree, then he did the degree, worked as an editor somewhere and then he said "fuck it! i make more money being a plumber!!" so he went back to his old job. Bravo. He makes at least twice as much money as me.

20 June, 2007 13:28  
Blogger Martha Elaine Belden said...

meant to say this before, but i forgot...

best of luck to your brother!! how exciting :)

20 June, 2007 16:58  

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