Some of you are still having problems getting to this blog—which makes me want to chew the carpet and SCREAM because what am I wasting all this time for if people can’t read it?!?! Please don’t write to me about it, which only makes me chew the carpet and scream louder, because there’s zip-all I can do about it, except forward it on to Blogdad. I have the tech brain of a trilobite. A slow trilobite.* There is now a Blogdad button at the bottom of this page. Pleeeeeeease use it for any tech issues.
Now as to the specific problem or problems of being deflected or diverted to spam sites—we, which is to say Blogdad, isn’t getting anywhere with that because he can’t reproduce the problem, and as Blogmom taught me years ago, you can’t change anything you can’t look at, and prod for weak places. He’s been on the phone to everyone responsible for everything our end and they can’t find anything either. Which presents the possibility that it’s not at our end.
Some of you have discovered the Blogdad button, and you may having crunchy high level electronic conversations full of words I don’t know like gjzlurmjam and transsuperblinkdinglewhammy, about the unpindownability of internet misbehaviour. The tweets and emails that come to me are all saying ‘hope you and Blogdad fix the problem soon’, which is exactly what I’d be saying in parallel circumstances, but I wish to suggest that you do any checking at your end that you, your tech person, or your next-door neighbour’s cat knows how to do please? Because it may be a weirdness cloud that has, doubtless among many other unfortunates, tentacled on to you, some hitherto undefined subgroup of Days in the Life readers. If we could figure out any common denominators . . .
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Meanwhile. It’s been a stupid day, and I was supposed to be spending it getting ready for Clothilda’s** arrival tomorrow. So I have a GUEST ARRIVING TOMORROW, right? And the first thing that happened is . . . I buy most of my cupboard-staples type organic food in bulk because you can get 10-15% off that way, and at organic prices this is worth it. I had two big orders with two different companies, one from about three weeks ago and one from about a fortnight ago. Both of them have been hanging fire waiting for some final item that wasn’t in their warehouse. BOTH OF THEM ARRIVED TODAY. So I have three GIGANTIC cardboard boxes sitting on various bits of otherwise unoccupied floor and I mean bits as in small. Very small. So when Chaos does his Standing in the Middle of the Floor Waiting for Something to Happen trick I can’t get around him without moving a large cardboard box. Furthermore, the Lodge is my cupboard space*** . . . and it’s raining.† And I somehow don’t feel like carrying large cardboard boxes through the rain.††
And the second thing—you remember I have a GUEST ARRIVING TOMORROW?—I’ve been blistering through the garden††† and had pretty well filled up all available containers against Atlas bringing his trailer today and trundling the lot off to the dump. The local dump that there was an ENORMOUS public brouhaha to keep open a few months or something ago, okay? Where our tax money goes etc etc etc we want to KEEP OUR DUMP? Yeah. Atlas was back much too soon this afternoon saying ‘they’ve changed the rules and they won’t take any of it.’ WHAT? One of the things that a seriously pot-bound gardener does is periodically empty out all that compost because eventually feeding it doesn’t enliven it sufficiently any more, and replace it with fresh compost. I don’t do this often enough, but I do it. So along with vast swathes of weeds and a good fair few rose prunings, there was a lot of old tired compost. Well, the dump doesn’t take ‘soil’. It’s NOT FRELLING SOIL, it’s COMPOST. Well, it looks like soil. THAT’S THE IDEA. IT’S SUPPOSED TO MAKE THE PLANTS HAPPY. I’d bought quite a lot of that compost there at the dump—I don’t know how the system works, but all the local dumps pool their green garden waste and put it through the commercial process at some big industrial site, and then divide up the spoils and bring it home and sell it to their locals. BUT THEY WON’T TAKE IT BACK ANY MORE. And while I’m being gobsmacked, they don’t take SOIL? Which you might think, on planet Earth, is kind of the ultimate recyclable ideal?? Gaaaaaah.
Also, while it was now irrelevant since they weren’t going to take a lot of garden rubbish with ewwwww nasty soil-like stuff in it, but the size/diameter of sticks and branches they’ll take keeps getting smaller and smaller, so it could be they don’t take rose prunings any more either.
Disaster was more or less averted: Atlas hauled the lot off to distant Mauncester, but he had to go home first for the necessary tiedowns to keep the load IN the trailer. And there they started to give him a hard time about the soil . . . but relented. Maybe he stabbed them in the foot with a (garden) fork. He’s very mild-mannered generally, but even he was feeling a little exercised about the situation. I’m feeling prospectively very exercised about the next time I want to clean up my garden(s). Today it meant I had no Atlas to do other garden-tidying-up things this afternoon. And I had been going to do a different kind of hauling away: of 1,000,000 books off to Oxfam, so Clothilda and I might conceivably get into the sitting room. Which didn’t happen either. Which means at present there is no floor space anywhere downstairs at the cottage for a normal-sized human being to put both feet down at the same time.‡
. . . And I have to have gone to bed over an hour ago. ARRRRRRGH.
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* And I am also sweating the frelling maths thing several of you have commented on, that Blogdad has installed to foil various internet monsters, because it sometimes asks me to add two double digit numbers together. I can’t remember two frelling columns, and if I have to carry, like 14 + 17? FORGET IT.
** Readers of the old blog may remember Clothilda. She’s young, American and a children’s librarian. Last time she was here I took her to the local Waterstones and made her show me all the good picture books she could find on their shelves. I am shamefully out of practise with picture books, since the grandchildren got too old and then various events intervened, and so many picture books are . . . not good, and a person can become dispirited. I came home that day with about ten new picture books and was very happy. Since of course we will be caroming through a variety of bookstores this visit perhaps she can do it again.
*** And the shelves look very strange containing as they do six of everything, six bottles of raw apple cider vinegar, six jars of artichoke hearts, six jars of almond butter, six jars of ghee . . . and about twenty packages of vacuum-packed roasted and peeled chestnuts because they’re mostly only available at Christmas and I eat them all year long. If I can get them.
† Wasn’t it SUMMER a few days ago? We’re back to woolly jumpers and cold rain. However, this is a good thing, because it means the bluebells should last till Clothilda arrives. I hope she’s brought her wellies and a raincoat.^ But the bluebells, having been sitting with their little green arms folded saying ‘I’m not wasting my flowers on this’ while we had blizzards and tornados and things, came out BANG like tiny flowering volcanoes in the hot weather.
^ I can loan her a woolly jumper. Although it will go around her twice and fall to her knees.
†† I know. Most people live in one house.
††† Not that it’s tidy even now. A garden is always a work in progress, the kind of work in progress that makes you go AAAAAAUGH every time you look at it. The people who can sit down and relax and enjoy the view in their gardens fascinate me. Of course these people probably spend more time steadily and soberly employing a trowel than I do. Not more time, more time steadily and soberly.
‡ There hasn’t been space upstairs at the cottage since we finished clearing Third House.