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Thursday, 28 January 2010

Dedicated to Ron E Harris 1930 - 2010

Well darling reader, have been busy sorting out the purchase of NS&I Towers in order to pay off one of dearest Bloke's ex-wives, of which there are many. Still, save the best for last, that's what he says!
Obviously, this will mean that she will have to remove all her ghastly cheap tat from MY house without delay.
Have had lovely week adventuring across the bleak and desolate moors to tend to the sick and needy. Lady M on her best behaviour yesterday, a pleasure to slave for. However, we shall see what today brings when I attempt to lure the aged aristocrat into her claw footed and vast bath. I imagine that suggestion will be met with a sharp whack on the legs with the walking cane!
Had surreal experience outside the pub at the top of Mountain Hill the other day...
Just arrived back at trusty Bentley Coupe, parked in aforementioned pub carpark, when a flock of shire horses meandered along and blocked Lovely One's passage. It wasn't so much as the horses that alarmed One, but the fact that they had with them a herd of strange locals dressed as cowboys and indians. Darling Little Lovely One looked rather incongruous in the middle of that lot, all angel faced, flaxen haired and done up in me nurses uniform. Still, the indigenous population out there on the bleak and desolates are a strange bunch so I bid them 'good morning', sauntered slowly over to the vehicle and legged it!
Went to great big stone lodge house again to wash and brush up a rather sturdy old woman who resides there with her offspring, who bears a remarkable likeness to Herman Munster. Sadly Herman has taken something of a shine to Lovely Moi and chose to plant himself in the front parlour during the entire grooming session of his aged P and carried on a conversation throughout the entire strip wash, top, bottom, undercarriage and all. V strange thought Moi. Still, maybe more than one traditional family relationship exists under one roof on the Bleak and Desolates, just like in the Somerset Hills. We didn't sanction that sort of behaviour in Hampstead darlings!

Had extra six calls today. Dementia is a frightening and sad way to end life and I have a few old ladies to call on today who suffer it. My own father is, or as I now know, was, in the very early stages.
I came home to a call to tell me he has died. Just one week short of his 80th birthday. Now the trip home to celebrate that will be for his funeral.
He lived his life. He didn't just use it up. I wish I could have seen him one last time and that he could have met Bloke.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

In which I can't find me lippy...

News has reached deepest that Mr Pink is an Avon Lady. What ever next darlings? It must be bad enough opening the door to Mrs Pink - but MR PINK - Bugger my hat, is all I can say!!
Been out since 6.00am humping pensioners around Dartmoor. I find it very alarming that I am required to minister to elderly ladies who live with their families, sometimes three generations under the same roof. All women, and girls with babies living on benefits and all lying around in bed watching state of the art tellies (better than mine) whilst I wash, dress and feed their grannies for a measley wage, the tax payable on which goes to support them. It's all wrong! WRONG I TELL YOU dear reader. Not that any of them are bad people. In fact most are very nice. It's just a very strange society that we've created where it's ok to breed, not work, and just take take take from those who do an honest day's toil!
It's also alarming, the level of squalor some people live in. Carpets caked in discarded food, cat crap and hair, fur etc. Window sills thick with filth, windows you can't see through and filthy, smelly sinks and lavatories.Not to mention overflowing commodes. And yet, even these ghastly abodes boast enormous up to the minute flat screen tellies, all big and bright and new and clearly the only item to ever be cleaned.
The other side of the coin are the rich who are funding their own care and what a pleasure it is to tend to some of them. Their cash cushioned existences can't shield them from the ravages of dementia or the debilitating results of strokes, cancer etc.
Their warm, safe worlds have to depend on the likes of Lovely One, just like the council flat dwellers.
Mrs Brigadier insisted on climbing down from the bath seat and reciting poetry whilst splashing about in the water. Still, she seemed quite cheerful so I let her get on with it whilst I laid out her clothing.
'Don't slide down the plughole Mrs T', said I.
'Oh wouldn't that be an adventure', she replied.
We finally completed the toilette and descended to the drawing room where a blazing fire had been lit.
Brigadeer informed me that he once had a Latin Master who used to turn off his hearing aid and recite Greek poetry when he was bored.
On that note I legged it to tend to a particularly unpleasant person who insists on peeing herself rather than trundle to the lavatory. It would be alright if she availed herself of the available Tena Lady products, but no, why bother when there's a 'nice lady' to come round and clean one up?
Lovely One shot round that place, cleaning, washing etc without breathing over much. Just dug me teeth into me lip and got on with it. Heaved a huge sigh on leaving and delved into carpet bag for a bit of lippy. Can't find it...
Calling Mr Pink - ding dong

Thursday, 21 January 2010

In which Lovely One fails with her Ladyship...

First call today on the moors in little village. V old lady who didn't really want to get out of her warm and snuggly bed. I hadn't wanted to get out of mine at 5.00am but did, since Bloke has been a 'bear with a sore head' for a couple of days now and is severely testing Lovely One's naturally sunny nature. One word answers and precious little eye contact is unusual for darling Bloke, so something's up, but I know not what! Anyway I shall remain serene and wait for the black cloud to drift away. I had meant to make a big fuss of him this evening, but dropped off to sleep on the sofa clutching a hot water bottle instead. I found him at 6.15pm sitting forlornly on the edge of the bed watching the news.
My second call to a remote farmhouse delayed me for the rest of my clients since I had to abandon my mission temporarily to wait for the district nurse to do her bit. Why can't social services organise it so that two different services don't turn up at the same time. The nurses 'doings' take priority over mine, so that means time is ticking and all my subsequent calls are late, meaning I get a severe ticking off from Brigadiers whose wives are waiting for a bath and grumpy carers who's mums need a hairwash.
Today's farming lecture from farmer's daughter has left me in possession of adequate knowledge to deliver a baby lamb, should I be required to. In a former life, Lovely One would have fainted at the very thought of such pastimes, but I imbibed all this information whilst continuing my new career as the 'Pooh-meister'.
Anyway, farmer's daughter seems to have taken a shine to Lovely One and clearly relishes a chat to the extent that there are no donkeys on the farm complete with hind legs! One eventually escaped leaving fellow caring person A to finish up whilst I sheared to Lady M's.
Unfortunately on arrival to rouse her Ladyship from her slumbers she clearly had other ideas.
Lovely One - 'Good Morning Lady M', opening the curtains.
Lady M- 'What did you do that for! Close the curtains immediately!'
Lovely One - 'I've brought you a cup of tea. Would you like me to help you sit up.'
Lady M - silence
Lovely One - see above.
Lady M - 'Leave the tea on the table, I'll have it later.'
I left the room with the intention to return and have another go. A v nice woman had just set about cleaning the sitting room so we had a little chat. Apparently thus far One has been phenomenally successful in the Ladyship department, having roused said Ladyship, abluted, coiffed and dressed and delivered to the dining room in record time. In fact most 'serfs' such as Lovely One are dismissed forthwith with a sharp tap from the walking cane, and don't as much as get her out from under the quilt. So it was that I ventured back into the bedchamber and had another bash. Sadly, 'twas not to be, so after a while I reported in and aborted the mission.
Tomorrow is another day methinks.
Then a lovely new lady. Wing Commander something or other, complete with moustache and cravat, led me along endless portrait lined walls to lady wife who was a delightful, though rather confused lady.
Briefly visited a garage and frittered a weeks pay on two new tyres, made a fish pie, exchanged three words with Bloke - up the wooden stairs to Bedfordshire!

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

In which Bloke grows his own earmuffs...

Having lovely dream about being posh ladies maid in India when passing untouchable prodded Lovely One in the small of the back with a broom handle.
Opening one clear, blue, twinkling eye and espying '5.00am' projected on the underside of the overhead cupboard I twigged it was almost time to alight from the four poster, and realised it wasn't a broom handle in my back...
Today Stinky and Lovely One are having a day of rest. Someone else shall have to tend to the sick and dying on the Moors, I'm shagged! Quite literally - see 'broom handle' - above.
Spreadeagled like a starfish, with the face of an angel, obviously, I regarded Bloke as he lumbered around the bedchamber readying himself for the hungry masses.
A vision of perfection, as always. I do like the larger male of the species. I can't imagine what I was doing spending such a long time with Vile Husband. He was like a filletted fart, but it was fairly simple to repell his advances with a swift arm lock and baring of the gnashers. Hey ho - history!
Bloke is perfect in every way. In fact, there's just one small improvement possible which I shall attend to upon his return from the burger van.
HIS HAIR!
I have permitted it to grow rather long over these past winter weeks as the poor blighter has been freezing his gonads off feeding the great unwashed from an unheated, roadside bistro. (Van)
On closer inspection this very morn it has become apparant that his beard and hair have meshed and he has grown his own balaclava!
Some time last week he entered the 'Kenny Rodgers' phase of hirsuteness. Sadly this has been replaced by the 'Willy Nelson'. Not a good look at the best of times!
'Willy Nelson' - sounds like an illegal wrestling hold, doesn't it darling readers? In fact, the next time Lovely Moi is assaulted by the 'broom handle' I may well deploy it in my defence!

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

In which I am livid...


Lovely Moi sashayed forth onto the moors at 6.00am this very morn, and flippin' cold it was!
A nice short day with just three ladies to 'do' for thinks I. No, 'twas not to be! Fancy phone (no idea how it works) went off twice and added two more ladies to my list.
Clever phone keeps taking pictures of Lovely One by accident. Due to closeness of fancy phone dear little lovely one looks as if she's trapped in a fish bowl. Anyway, no matter, off I went to her ladyship, one of my extras.
A sharp tap on the door was met by,
'Oh my goodness what a very loud knock on the door!'
Now, under normal circumstances Her Ladyship says she can't hear anything I say.
'Speak up, for goodness sake girl. I can't understand anything you say.' That's what I'm normally met with, but not today!
Lady M - 'Don't open the curtains, I don't want them open.'
Moi - 'Let's just have one open a bit to see what sort of day it is.'
Lady M - 'Huff, tut.'
Moi - 'I'll just make you a cup of tea and some toast.'
Lady M -'Soap! Soap! Who's brought me some soap?'
Moi - 'Toast, Lady M.'
Lady M - 'I don't have to get out of bed.'
Moi - 'It's a lovely day let's get you up and dressed.'
Lady M - 'There's a child outside calling Granny.'
I feign a peek outside and report back that there's no one there.
Eventually, cup of tea drunk, ablutions over, hair dressed we meander to the dining room.
Lady M settles down to her cornflakes.
'There's something a bit orf', says she.
Oh Blimey! I've gone and forgotten her flamin' teeth.
I belted up the three flights of stairs like a thing possessed and nabbed the gnashers from the bathroom, bunged 'em in a tissue and slid down the bannisters at breakneck speed back to the dining room.
The next time she opened her mouth to issue an order I bunged 'em in.
'Oh that's much better', says she and chomped merrily away on her cereal as I picked up yet another call on fancy phone and legged it before any more assistance was required.
On arrival back at home a letter from G P awaited me. The management company that 'looks after' the block in which I have my apartment. The company is made up of a number of frightening old harridans who have such an appalling reputation around town that I infiltrated their ranks in order to bring a measure of calm to the proceedings.
I have heard from my Estate Agent, solitcitor and bank that the secretary of this nasty little coven had been trying to find out my new address in order to send me a 'surprise' letter. (I had incurred their collective wrath by considering letting the place to a 'young person.') All concerned were horrified by their behaviour which we all agreed was tantamount to stalking. My solicitor wanted to 'send a shot across their bows' but I remain serene and have ignored them.
I have had the temerity to let my own property without asking their permission, which incidentally, they are not allowed by law to withold.
The ring leader of this spiteful, mean mouthed, anal group of busybodies is a particularly unpleasant old hag who has a penchant for litigation. Now, I like things to be done properly but am fed up with having my exhorbitant maintenance charges spent on futile legal actions entered into by a filthy toenailed slug who just likes making other people's lives miserable.
I fear she is in dire need of either a good rodgering or a punch in the gob - or both. One of which I'd be happy to oblige, but since there's such a long queue (for the punch) that is, I'll remain serene and ignore the vile bint.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

In which news of the Pink One reaches Deepest...


Just can't sleep again! Have acquired v bad cold from one of my many needy souls and have been sniffing/coughing/shuffling around the four poster for hours. Darling Bloke let out an enormous sigh as he dragged the antique counterpane over his side for the umpteenth time, so I legged it from the bedchamber before I was accused of disturbing his beauty...
Am now sitting at desk in garden room perusing self in huge looking glass. 'Tis true, blondes look better under artificial light. Have slipped off giant fluffy and, if One says so Oneself, looking rather tidy in me black M&S jim jams with me curly locks all dishevelled. Well, ok, I don't have specs on so I'm all fuzzy, like Doris Day with vaseline over the camera lens, but let me dream.
Having deep and meaningful conv with BF the other day about getting old. She is 56 next Monday. As I thoughtfully pointed out to her,
'That's nearer sixty than fifty.'
Judging from the expletives that little pearl of wisdom was met with, I think she'd already figured that out.
I, of course, was sitting prettily on the Louis XIV chaise in the orangery whilst having the telephone conversation, she was pacing up and down the ginnel with a fag stuck to her bottom lip continually swigging vodka from the hip flask stuffed down her eighteen hour corselette.
How standards have plummeted since I left Wivey!
News of the Pink One has reached Deepest...
She is now an Avon Lady.
Flippin' 'eck!
DING DONG - Pikey calling!
Now I've always been very fond of The Pink One. In fact all of the Milverton chapter of the Wombles, but AN AVON LADY - NO NO NO!
Lovely One is of an age to remember the Avon Lady of the 1960's.
'Ding Dong' - open door to reveal perfectly groomed, smiling yummy mummy making herself a few quid to supplement the household income.
Picture this if you dare...
'Ding Dong'
Lower drawbridge to reveal entire Pink Pack spilling out of the back of doormobile, closely followed by mangy mutt on bit of string.
Gathering brought to heel by Mr Pink One who is proud bearer of Avon products stuffed in a discarded Matalan carrier.
Pink One herself at head of tribe, obviously, tripping up the garden path wearing the ruby slippers, two sizes too big and recently acquired from the charity shop, a flouncy gyppo skirt and one of BF's many cerice pink tops stretched over her ample bosom which is encased by one of BF's cantilevered cast off brassieres.
It is just wrong!
However, I would support the Pink haired trollop by buying one of her lippies or some wrinkle cream etc...
But I've told you before, darling reader, it's always foolish to tamper with perfection.

In which I bring Stinky to heel...

Woke up at the same ungodly hour today as during the week - 5am. Am now fully conversant with the shipping forecast and Germans biting humbugs etc.
Upstairs in my personal bathroom suite I favour radio four and either the world service or farming today, and downstairs, talksport. Not that I like sport obviously. All women who watch/like/play sport are lesbians, clearly. Lovely One partakes in the more feminine pastimes of watercolour painting, vodka drinking and jelly wrestling.
Anyway, dear reader, I digress...
Got up far too early and indulged myself in catching up with the soaps on i player. Then - off into the woods with Stinky Mutt.
No sooner are we deep into the dark woods than Stinky starts a fight with a big brown dog.
'HERE' Lovely One shouted as hard as her delicate little lungs would allow. Stinky immediately spat out the brown dog and came to heel.
'SIT' says I in the manner of Barbara Woodhouse, and Stinky Mutt sat, looking up adoringly at Lovely One who has now begun to feel a bit of a 'dog' person as opposed to an ardent pussy fancier.
Big Brown Dog's owner approached and said;
'Is that Neil's dog?'
'Yes' says Moi.
'They like a fight' says he, 'One day they knocked Neil over'.
'I know' says moi, 'I am the new 'Mrs Neil's dog.'
'Oh hello there', says he 'I'm impressed with the way you've trained Stinky Mutt already.'
'Let's face it, mate', says Lovely One, looming over him in an Amazonian and yet pink and fluffy way,
'If I shouted an order to you, you'd follow it wouldn't you'.
'Do you know - I think I would', said he disappearing off into the deep dark forest.

Friday, 15 January 2010

In which Lovely One's angel face is found to be pleasing...


Up at 5.00am, shower, face on, out.
First client rather difficult to locate in a maze of council houses most of which had no numbers on the doors. Who'd be a postman?!
Finally tracked down a lovely lady who'd had MS for twenty six years along with numerous other disabilities, illnesses and bone breakages etc. Very chirpy though, and soldiering on undaunted. People like that are a pleasure to assist. She'd stayed inside on the instruction of her daughter throughout the bad weather in case she fell, and had fallen in her own kitchen badly bruising her face.
'I hope you come back again', she said as I left, 'you've got a pleasing face.'
'So do I', I replied and waved as she stood silhouetted in the doorway, a tiny little figure watching me charge off up the road.
Off across the moors again with the assistance of the trusty satnav to the vast farmhouse home of very infirm gentleman. Farmer's daughter in residence again relating tales of bygone times of farming and the hardiness of the West Country farming community.
Doubled up with a senior today who arrived shortly before I did and had done most of what was required before I got there. Not quite sure about her yet, seems ok, just not very friendly.
Gave infirm gentleman a shave and made him ready for the day.
At one point, an Amazonian nurse turned up to dress the pressure sores on gentleman's nether regions. Since senior colleague has 'bad back' I was nominated to support weight of gentleman throughout this procedure. Nurse and senior then chatting away whilst Lovely One attempted to attract their attention as to whether to let go of gentleman. Eventually chipped in and asked,
'Have you finished?' of the nurse.
'Yes' says she.
'You might have said!' says One. But no apology, recognition or anything, rude blighter! Lovely One is NOT a serf, thank you very much!
And speaking of serfs - on to Her Ladyship. A much more speedy removal from her bed chamber this morning.
After delivering a cup of tea Lovely One stood to attention at the foot of the bed until required for ablutions and dressing.
'That is very pleasing', said Her Ladyship as I brushed her long hair and coiled it into a neat chignon which I then adorned with a velvet bow.
Safely escorted to the dining room, Her Ladyship bid Lovely One 'good morning' and disappeared with a liveried serf inside.
Moi legged it down the driveway to freedown until next Tuesday. Yipee! lie ins, wine, pork scratchings and luuurve!
On arrival at NS&I castle, next weeks duties were awaiting me.
New 'pleasing face' lady will be pleased - she's my first call!

Thursday, 14 January 2010

In which Lovely One is upstairs and downstairs...

Have sallied forth onto the moors once again today to visit the needy and infirm. First port of call a delightful octagenarian who was refusing to visit the day centre since she had inadvertantly eaten one of her teeth whilst chomping on some chinese takeaway ribs. None the less, when I left she was suitably attired in frilly underwear a cerice track suit and happily applying her lippie whilst her great granddaughter held the mirror.
Rather a nasty experience just before leaving when, on a visit to the bathroom, I was beaten to it by the cat who deposited his share of the chinese takeaway right next to the loo. Still, it shows intelligence to do it in the bathroom, doesn't it dear reader.
Second call, only fifteen minutes behind schedule, was to the very dependant gentleman who frankly should be in full time residential medical care. His poor wife just won't sanction him being away from home even though the pain and indignity he has to endure day after day is plain for all to see. If he has any awareness of what is happening to him, he must be enduring a living hell. I do understand the reluctance of his wife, who joins in with the district nurse, and the carers, and who insists he should be attired in a business shirt even though he is naked from the waist down at all hours. He has a catheter fitted, which is obviously painful, several vast pressure sores and is peg fed, around which there is MRSA present. Consequently the likes of Lovely One et al are doing far more than we should in the way of care, which we most certainly shouldn't be doing. Pressure sores on his feet are dressed daily by the district nurse and moi and then he is left suspended in a sling whilst he can be cleaned underneath. The end of life is not pretty.
Was treated to a long lecture from a farmer about the merits of drinking milk straight out of the cow. He told me that he used to make clotted cream and give it away to the villagers who would come to the farm and fill up containers of the stuff for free.
My last call of the morning was in a castle, no less, to a member of the landed gentry. The sodding sat nav kept directing me to the gatehouse and a pot hole filled driveway which clearly hadn't been used since Dick Turpin galloped up it. Eventually found the stately pile and gained entry from another serf. The internal telephone was shagged, so had to loiter in massive hall until the appearance of yet another serf who escorted my to her Ladyship's rooms.
Lovely Moi has been an avid viewer of 'Upstairs Downstairs' in the past so I adopted the mantle of Rose, or in my case, perhaps, Sarah and knocked gently on the massive door. I felt subordination to be the order of the day since one of my colleagues had been whacked with her Ladyship's walking cane the day before and Lovely One didn't want to be on the receiving end of an upper class walking aid. Her Ladyship was still asleep in bed and had to be roused and given a cup of tea.
A servant delivered her breakfast which she consumed as I dressed her hair. It was positively feudal. One is not even allowed to use the bathroom. One has to use the 'servant's quarters' if you ever did!
I have heard of these upper crust retirement homes, but until today had never seen one. As I was leaving a further serf who had been giving pilates sessions called out to me,
'Isn't it fabulous? Are you going to save up for your old age here?
'I don't think I'll live long enough to save that much' says I.
Back there again tomorrow. I think I'll be Lady Marjorie then.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

In which Lovely Moi is lightly dusted in snow...

Well, dear reader, I started the day looking all serene, clean and saintly, just like Juliet Mills in 'Nurse on Wheels' and ended it tousled, grubby and with a dusting of snow and the living image of Nurse Gladys Emmanuel a la 'Open all Hours'.
I'd been awake most of the night before debating whether or not to phone the office and quit, since the day had been an utter nightmare. But, Darling Bloke, who clearly has more faith in me that I do myself, suggested coming with me onto the bleak moors yet again in case I got lost/snowed in/overcome with terror etc. So, with moral support in the shape of the most lovely man ever to have walked the earth, I sallied forth, and the second day of Claire in the Community dawned.
Met some absolutely lovely old ladies, for they are mostly ladies, and the two gentlemen from yesterday. I was dreading those as according to my colleagues they are the most severe and needy clients we have and indeed have ever had. So that was a baptism of fire getting them both on the same day! Indeed, I've got them every day which is a bit much. Still I suppose once they know you're capable and built like a brick lavatory, yer in!
Now it is true that Lovely One is a mere shadow of her former self, but obviously am still v tall and, well let's face it, Amazonian! But out here on the bleak and desolates they breed 'em flamin' ginormous! I encountered a Valkyrie Warrior Woman at 6.45am who was my 'double up' with our first client of the day. Not an ounce of fat on her, but huge, she could have done ten rounds with 'Giant Haystacks' no trouble, before lunching on two lightly boiled sheep.
I still have the stamina for most things in life, but the fact is I'm not as bendy as I used to be so left the crawling around on the floor that was required later in the day to yet another vast creature weighing in at around twenty stones and six feet three - all eighteen years of her!
I have surprised myself in the things I am not only able to do, like hands on care, which is shorthand for arse wiping, and am in fact only too willing to do. Not my first choice in life, but after all, we all need help sometimes don't we?
Have encountered extreme variety in the way we all choose to live. Some people live in such sublime comfort and cleanliness that it's a pleasure to work in their homes but others have thick dust on their bars of soap - guess the rest darlings!
Yesterday encompassed a beautiful stone lodge house with mullion windows and a depressing council house full of cats and dogs, and every kind of dwelling in between.
Today Lovely One is on yet another 'course' CM2000, whatever the devil that is, darlings! I shall be so brainy by the end of this lot that I'll be dangerous! And then, on the morrow, a peer of the realm in a stately home. Well even the rich and famous get old and needy if they survive into their twilight years which round here, they certainly seem to.
One lovely old thing said to me yesterday,
'Don't get old dear'.
So I said, 'What's the alternative?'
'Snuffing it, I suppose' say's she, and we both had a bit of a giggle about God being a man.
Obviously not like Darling Bloke, though, since he is perfect in every way and equally divine!

Monday, 11 January 2010

In which I am utterly drained...

Yesterday darling Bloke insisted on my driving to the destination of my first visits ministering to the needy as some kind of trial run. On seeing the desperate condition of the roads and the narrowness and darkness of what can only be described as 'dirt tracks' I shall be venturing down, he came with me today on my first two calls to act as 'digger out' should I be snowed in.
'There's no way you're doing that on yer own'. So as a submissive, delicate Lovely One I acquiesced and allowed him to chaperone moi.
Even with the sat nav, a map and a bit of common, I took a few wrong turns. Believe me the moors are a desolate place at 6.00am in the pitch dark and covered with snow! I thought that Ivybridge, being called 'gateway to the moors' as dear old Wivey is that there would be similarities. NO NO NO. Wiveliscombe is gateway to a gently, 'weekender from London' Exmoor. Ivybridge is gateway to a harsh, bleak, desolate wasteland that should be left to the ponies and prisoners forthwith!
Skidding to a halt at my first port of call in complete darkness I was met by a yappy dog and a tiny little cottage with an elderly couple inside. A log fire burned in an ancient grate and barely took the frost off the inside of the windows. My colleague was an unusual item. The mutant offspring of Imelda Staunton and a hamster, not entirely versed in our 'earth tongue' she made me rather less than welcome on my first day.
Anyway, elderly chap, who required attention was an interesting and clearly well bred gentleman.
Following a not too unpleasant hour there and twenty minutes attempting to drive up the lane, I set off for lonely farmhouse I had tracked down yesterday.
WHAT FOLLOWED WAS THE MOST AWFUL EXPERIENCE OF MY ENTIRE LIFE!
Please, please, whatever you do, make a living will! I had no idea that it was possible to decompose whilst one is still alive. It is! In less than half an hour a small pressure sore can rot down to the bone. If you are immobile, you don't get better. Animals wouldn't be kept alive in such a state. But who decides? Well, I've decided and shall be making a living will immediately, and so will Bloke. In fact, if Bloke gets so much as a cold, I'm withdrawing food.
I expect I shall get sucked into this world, as I did before, but it's really a job for the young and fearless.
My young colleague at this job was late as she'd abandoned her car and walked a good couple of miles, so my first day was a baptism of fire. I shan't divulge all the rotting and smelly details, but suffice it to say that even with protector spray Uggs can't shake off shit!
I had two calls today and am emotionally and physically drained.
I have nine tomorrow, to include the same two as today, wish me luck darlings!
But, as Bloke reminded me, 'I can go home'. Those poor sods are stuck like that till they croak!
Ho hum, I shall try to remain serene and attempt to bring a little smile with me on all my calls.
Aahh, I hear you chorus, dear readers, moi, who couldn't even get a job in Morissons on the checkout is now charged with ensuring the survival of the most desperate.

Friday, 8 January 2010

In which I need help from Hugh with me soda bread...



Yesterday was a wipeout, ministering to the needywise, so I slipped and slid home to play housewife for one last day.
Bloke has given me the River Cottage Everyday Cookbook so the delicious Hugh FW and Lovely Moi spent a satisfying day making bread, cakes and yummy things for tea.
In a fit of culinariness never to be equalled I knocked up: chiken and mushroom soup, soda bread and a carrot and orange cake. Well, that was the plan anyway. Oh, and I forgot, a bolognese cheesy pasta bake (which I invented) and, lest I forget a hot chilli for Lovely One.
The soup was concocted from a recipe I downloaded from the net and tweaked a bit since I didn't have all the ingredients. It tasted ok but resembled the sludge one removes from the top of bubbling stew, so I ladelled it and strained it through a silk stocking. That improved it a bit but the stocking looked like a leg had decomposed in it so I binned it. I flung in half a bottle of white wine and some cream and it looked quite passable so left it in me fave le crueset on top of the aga, wafting welcoming niffs around the castle.
The cheesy pasta bake came unstuck when I realised I didn't have any cheese. Well, apart, of course, from a mouldy bit of rock hard parmesan. Every smeg holds one of those doesn't it? I uncovered a PACKET, yes, PACKET of cheddar cheese sauce mix from one of the cupboards. Previous Mrs Blokes have been a slap dash, packet sauce, ready meal, lot. Lovely One materialised in the nick of time, it would appear.
So, with a generous helping of cream cheese, mouldy parmesan and the sauce mix, some cream left over from Crimbo and a Lovely One sized helping of panache, the cheesy bake was born. It festered nicely in the aga, whilst I constructed the carrot and orange cake. There was a slight problem in that I didn't have any carrots so I used a sweet potato and some cocoa powder, organic of course, instead. There is definitely something wrong with the cake oven, because I put loads of baking powder in the cake and still it looked like a steaming cowpat when I took it out.
But it was the bread that was the piece de resistance. I give you - my version of the soad loaf. Now, Hugh, I followed this one to the letter, well practically, since I didn't have quite enough buttermilk so used a muller lite vanilla yogurt.
And look at it! It looks like a jester's hat and weighs more than my bottom.
All these lovely things were displayed proudly on the farmhouse kitchen table, wafting and tempting for when Bloke came in.
I heard the laughter from way over the other side of the castle. I assumed it was glee at having such a capable housewifey type such as Lovely One. But, no, when I scampered, pink cheecked into the scullery Bloke was texting pictures of my culinery delights to his brother, who later in the evening phoned to wish me luck on Monday and say to Bloke, 'Thank god she's going back to work full time'.
Takeaway tonight- methinks!
And in the words of Johnny Craddock - 'Tomorrow I'll be making doughnuts like Fanny's'.

In which I prepare to wander the moors...


Have just spent a jolly hour in Tesco car park waiting for my work partner, who didn't turn up, freezing.
I was there at the ungodly hour of 6.30am fired up and raring to go and tend to the poor and needy. Sadly, other worker's car broke down, I couldn't go alone, so the poor and needy will have to tend to their own requirements today.
I shall be out there 'Claire in the Community' on me little own on Monday, so a trial run on Sunday will be a must with my reputation for getting lost.
Anyway, Lovely One looks like an angel sent from heaven in the nurses uniform, so I'm sure all the poor little old persons will have complete confidence in one!
How tempting a lovely job on the checkout in a supermarket is beginning to look, or even painting again, which is what I should be doing.
But, I didn't! I have frittered away three months walking in the woods, lying on the sofa, generally faffing about doing sod all, so it serves me right! All reserve funds run out, no new works of art to sell, Bloke not rich enough to support both our mortgages and my shoe habit, so off I go into the wide blue yonder to earn a living.
Supermarket job a no no anyway. Even Morissons don't want lovely One cluttering up their tills!
I'll be out there somewhere on the snowy moors!

Thursday, 7 January 2010

In which I prepare to minister to the needy...

Some humorous bastard has stuck pictures of aged Ma on all my mirrors! Either that or I have made a very grave error in allowing dear little D and BF to talk me into changing my hairstyle. That must be it! I'm not me anymore. I look like a distressed sheep! Great big fat blonde curls all over the shop. Well, ok, great big fat blonde and grey curls! Why oh why do I let myself be swayed by the opinions of others? It has taken me decades to find miraculous ways of straightening out my sheeplike hair and I was sleek. SLEEK I tell you! John Frieda is a multi millionaire courtesay of Lovely Moi and the truck loads of Frizz Ease I have to buy. But it worked!
I knew messing with perfection was an error!
Bloke advanced in my direction last evening and clamped his hands over my ears. I thought to avoid dear little Lovely Moi from hearing some man style expletive, but no!
'If you got rid of these 'sticky out' bits you wouldn't look like Shaun the Sheep', says he.
Right, that does it! No more listening to ANYONE. EVER AGAIN.
I shall be wearing a hat until my bob grows back again.
I know where my hair is by the way. Amanda Redman was wearing it on TV last night and it doesn't look anywhere near as good on her as it did on divine little Lovely One.
Am appearing in delicious Nurses uniform from tomorrow morning at 6.00am in Ivybridge (gateway to the moors) ministering to the needy.
Tis a little early in the day to be needy, but no matter, I shall be there weilding all manner of soothing potions and saintly smiles.
Hey Ho, pass me a pensioner!

Friday, 1 January 2010

In which Lovely One loses her allure...

A jolly festive season has been enjoyed by Bloke and Lovely Moi, apart from one or two slight blips upon perfection.
One being that Darling Bloke has been struck down by a ghastly cold of such mammoth proportions as to render him out of action on all levels for some days before Crimbo, and indeed, after.
He has also been in a bit of a 'moody' concerning a pair of trousers I bought for him. I admit they were a little on the large side, but there was no need to sashay around the house with them pulled up to his armpits saying in a mournful voice,
'Is this how you see me', before flouncing off into the kitchen to eat another pie.
However, I thought the tide was turning on the morn of yesterday. I was lying in bed perusing certain unanswerable questions such as 'Is there an Inner Mongolia' and a 'Sheffield Thursday?' when Bloke pipes up..
'I must get the animal out.'
'Gadzooks!' Thinks Lovely Moi, 'I wish I'd resisted the lure of the double gusset wincyette pyjamas to fend off the winter chills'.
'Woo Hoo', there's a Twinkle Safari ticket with Blokes name on it in the pile of Christmas gifts and Lovely One it's destination!
My musings wandered to Crimbo Morning when Bloke asked me if there was anything I wanted and I requested being kissed all over again.
'Hang on' says he 'I'll get a marker and yardstick, divide you up into acreage, should be done by New Year'.
Oh tee hee thinks Moi!
Anyway, I arranged my plentiful blonde curls on the pillow, slipped me wincyette off one shoulder and adopted a 'come hither' stare.
I admit, it was a trifle disconcerting when he plunged forth from 'neath the quilt and donned his dog walking attire.
Lovely One has definitely lost her allure, methinks.
'Where are you going?' I plaintively called as he disappeared down the stairs.
'I told you I was taking the animal out', he called back, and made off into the woods with Stinky in hot pursuit.