Wednesday, April 2, 2008

April Already!

I really must apologise for being such a Bad Blogger for the last week or so. I've been taking time out to do all sorts of things which I couldn't do while my Foreign Student was around. I must say the freedom is blissful. Yesterday I went to London for the day, to see Sister, and I didn't have to get back to cook supper. We had such a lovely day, catching up, and Son also took time out of his working day to pop over to Hampstead to see us. That was great - he looks so well, brown and relaxed after his skiing holiday, and is also very cheerful about the new flat, so it was a treat for me. Sister is "holed up" in her flat because of the dreadful builders who are doing major works to the outside of the building - knocking off the render (and her phone connection), sweeping up the rubble (and trampling on her plants) and mixing up and applying new plaster, half of which seems to end up on the ground. They don't speak any English - at least they don't respond to spoken English, which is not necessarily the same thing. Anyway, this has been going on for three weeks now, and she has really had enough. They will probably be another three weeks at it, by which time her garden will be non-existent, so having visitors for the day was a little ray of sunshine. (She isn't getting any real sunshine through the windows because they are all covered with blue plastic to protect them while the work is going on!) I know just how she feels about the builders - I was only there for a few hours and I could cheerfully have clobbered the lot of them. There's constant noise, banging and drilling, and the occasional loud thump or crash when they drop something. They shout at each other in a completely foreign language which sounds vaguely Eastern European and, like the scaffolding, they are all around the outside of the building - there's no escaping them. Poor Sister has already had the telephone engineers out twice to re-connect her phone line. In spite of all this, we did manage to be both cheerful and positive, and I have promised to go back when the work is finished and help her to get the garden back in shape. It's the least I can do.

Sadly, I didn't get back in time to join in with our Pub Quiz team last night. By the time I'd caught the train at Victoria it was 8.30, so I didn't arrive home until 9.45pm. Then I sat at my computer and caught up with all my Blogging friends and their posts. The only trouble is, by the time I've read all of them, and commented too, I'm either too tired or it's too late to sit and write my own diary! I know it seems a bit counter-productive, but what's to do? I have to check up and see what all my "virtual" friends are up to, so I think it will have to be alternate days of Blogging and reading in future. At this rate I won't be going out anywhere, ever, for fear of falling behind. This evening I did meet a friend for cocktails and a quick supper. And tomorrow I'm off to see Daughter and Grandson for the day. Poor Grandson has had Chicken Pox since last Friday (you see, I haven't even had time to tell you that) and the poor little scrap has been smothered in Calamine Lotion and feeling rather itchy and scratchy. He phoned and left me a message on my answering machine today, which I thought was very grown-up. He just said "Nana, hello Nana", obviously in reply to my outgoing message. So I phoned him back when I came in, and we had a lovely conversation. Apparently my little soldier is very scabby, but I love him just the same. I can't wait for all those hugs and kisses tomorrow.


softinthehead said...

Sounds like you are having a great time catching up with all your real contacts as opposed to your virtual ones, no wonder blogging is taking a back seat.

the mother of this lot said...

Glad to see you back! Witch hazel is good for chicken pox as well, and doesn't dry the skin out as much as calamine.

As for not responding to English being different than not speaking English, I have vast experience of this truth around here....

Donna said...

Remodeling is hard to go through. I know how she feels.
You enjoy time with your Grandson!! Have a fun visit!hughugs

Expatmum said...

Ooh memories of those itchy chicken pox spots. Bless.

aims said...

I just went through a week of having a new roof put on. The constant banging and sudden crashings almost sent me around the bend.

One week was more than enough - your poor sister!

I'm glad you had a nice time with your son too!

As for us - don't worry about us...we'll still be here...I hear it's good to have a real life...

Maggie May said...

There's a lot of chicken pox in our schools too. Best to catch it while young. Have a really good time with your grandson. There's nothing quite like Grand children for the pleasure they give!

girl with the mask said...

Perhaps the best way for your sister to get the builders to respond to her spoken English is by loudly asking,

"Does the £20 note belong to one of you?"

They'd suddenyl be all ears, I'll bet!

G.I.M x

the mother of this lot said...

Came back to say there's an award over here for you from The Fixer!

Casdok said...

I bet you cant wait! Have fun!

Retiredandcrazy said...

You have a very full and varied life. I like the place names you drop too. Hampstead. My grandson had a girlfriend that live in London. I asked where, thinking she would say Clapham or somewhere like that and she said "Hampstead Heath". That floored me and gained her a lot of respect! It turned out her dad had been a bigwig at one of the commercial banks and was now an adviser to the government! That made me feel better. He was obviously an idiot!

A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

Hi all of you, here I come running to catch up as usual!

Hi SITH - Thank you for being so understanding. I would like to have another 12 hours in the day at the moment.. M :)

Hello The Mother - thank you so much for the Witch Hazel tip. I took some with me yesterday, and it was very soothing. So funny about the English - and thanks to The Fixer for my Award (and to you). I've snaffled it already, and will put it on when I get a mo!
Margot xx

Hi Donna, yes the scabs didn't matter at all - he was just as cuddly. M xx

Thanks for visiting Expatmum (how do you find the time?) - he is such a dear boy. M xx

Dear Aims - so understanding as always. I didn't know about your builders - hope they did a good job. It was great to see Son looking so well, in fact a lovely day out altogether. Glad I'm not living there though! M :)

Hi Maggie - yes, he's a little Blessing, we spent hours in the garden in the sun. M xx

Hi G.I.M. What a good plan - I'll tell my Sister to try it. M :)

Hello Casdok - yes, it was just lovely, and I'm seeing him again tomorrow! Lucky me. M xx

Hi RAC - you and I do think alike (re the Politicians) and it did make me laugh. Yes, Hampstead is nice - and she is right next to the Heath. Lovely when the builders have gone. M :)

Stinking Billy said...

Margot, you are forgiven your time off because you have more than made up for it with this lovely post. I feel as though I suddenly know you so much better.

Anonymous said...

It takes a lot of patience to have builders knocking and banging your house to bits. That's lovely of you to help with the garden.

I know what you mean about blogging - getting round to everyone and leaving comments is time-consuming, but much fun at the same time. And 99% of the blogs I read are a pleasure anyway, including yours.

Crystal xx

A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

Thank you Billy, you're such a dear. "Getting to know you" is just great too. M xx

Dear Crystal - I do love my Blogging friends, it's never a hardship to catch up, it's just that there's never enough time! Thank you so much - you're right that it's a pleasure, and a privilege! M xx