Thursday, October 25, 2007

Silent World.

It was half term. They were all off.

Tinkerbell Mushroom was speaking. I could see she was moving her mouth, and there was a vague noise that sounded like speech, but what she was saying, or why she was saying it was beyond my comprehension. I looked at Hubby in desperation. He translated in a very loud and clear voice - I presume. I heard. Just.

Sensible came in. Realising the current state of her mother's ears, she just smiled. Sympathetically. She gave me a cup of tea.

"I can't hear anything".

"I know." She mouthed.

Living in a silent world when you are used to full hearing is quite scary.

It's VERY scary.

Of course, I knew that it was only a temporary hearing loss, due to the ear infection, but there is always that element of doubt.......

I lay there in bed thinking that I really ought to get up. While I did, various thoughts were going through my head, and within minutes I had re planned my whole life strategy according to how it would be if this hearing loss was permanent. Not that I'm dramatic or anything. Even though I was accused of such, by an offspring or two...

I returned to the doctor.

He said something.

"Sorry? I can't hear you."

It's only three days since you went on the medication. It will take five to ten days." he explained, in a lightly terse, slightly impatient way. Well, as much as I could tell through my swimming pool hearing.

"But I didn't expect to go deaf." I said.

He said something else.



"Sorry? I can't hear you. Can you repeat that please?"


I was clearly not a priority case. I was a one of many invisible forty somethings on his list that day. His lack of sympathy and understanding didn't go down well. My ears hurt. I felt miserable. I couldn't hear and I hadn't slept for four nights.

I thought about television dramas involving doctors.

Images of caring doctors, smiling and empathetic came to mind. I wondered if bedside manner had been invented by actors and that in the real medical profession there is no such thing.....

Hubby had come down with me for some moral support. I muttered to him as I left the surgery. Words of TLC, bit of bedside manner and any other label that I felt should go with a doctor's position were mentioned.

Of course.......Being on the harder side of hearing at that time, my words in whispers probably came out.....


When I got home again, I got a call from the surgery.

The Doctor wanted me to call him the following morning. To give him a progress report.......

Well either guilt had set in.

Or maybe someone in the surgery had heard me muttering.

That's MUTTERING by the way.........

............................p.s. I can hear again now, and the pain's gone........ He was right. As it turns out.....

They must be a nuisance for doctors really. Invisible forty something women.......

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

17th October and Teenagers....

Well doesn't time fly when you are enjoying yourself?

A year ago today I sat down and wrote my first blog.

78000 words later and I'm still here........

Still in the Forest of Dean too, unlike the predictions of last year.........

The only thing is that I'm running out of stories on banks and stuff.

Well, I must be.

Mustn't I?

At least I can write about the teenagers!

Monday, October 15, 2007

An apology.....

I have unwittingly offended and upset people with the post that I put up today.

It was not intended to offend. It was intended to laugh at me.

I'm sorry that I clearly got it so wrong and for any hurt that I may have caused.

Please accept my apologies.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

It's over to Enidd's...

To read me today, you will have to go to Enidd's blog!

And for all those who didn't make it as far as Enidd's, it is now put on here as well, unchanged and with the introduction, as put on Enidd's site.

Win Win!

Sally is delighted to be a glogger* on Enidd's site, and honoured that Enidd chose the person with whom (Enidd and she have discovered over a number of posts on both blogger's sites) she shares a mutual hatred of banks, to be one of her representatives during her long earned holiday. Sally's problems with banks are possibly different to Enidd's, as Enidd's hassles stem from them not allowing to use her own money, whereas Sally's hassles are due to them not allowing her to use their money. Sally sees that this purely as a matter of pedanticism on the banks' part and that either way, banks stink. Enidd of course tells the tales of Stalin, Fluffy and The Man. Sally's cast list includes a cast of thousands of children, a man by the name of Hubby and a dog who is mad. Sally's lifelong ambition is to be on Enidd's list of "humourous blums" on her Eggroll. She hopes that one day she will aspire to such heights. Enidd does of course write in the third person, and Sally normally writes in the first. But in honour of Enidd, as she is a guest on Enidd's blog, and when in Rome one should after all do as the Roman's do, Sally is today writing in the third person. Sally has tried in her spare time to give up the habit of capital letters, but after several attempts has failed miserably, and has now decided that in essence, you can take a blogger away from their capital, but you can't always take the capitals out of some of those slightly more stubborn and a little more awkward *gloggers.
*glogger: Guest Blogger.

It is just another ordinary morning: A call at a ridiculously early hour from a call centre; a letter from the bank, demanding money, that they had in fact already had; a wet shirt in the washing machine needed by ED (Eldest Daughter), now, today, not tumble dryable (of course), and so with the only option available to iron dry; and another letter from a different bank with yet another charge, unfairly administered in Sally's humble opinion. The boiler, still broken, isn't warm. In fact the whole house is very cold. This, coupled with ironing dry a very wet blouse, dealing with a call centre first thing, dealing with post, that is post from the letter box, not the writing sort, puts Sally in a seriously bad mood. Had it been the "writing" sort of post it would probably have put Sally in a good mood, as writing often has that effect on her. But sadly it is the mail variety. And not that male variety either.

Once the children are all at school, she starts with the banks. "I paid you on the right date, many many mars bars worth of cash." Sally explains to bank number one (that is the bank who very kindly, a few years back, bought Sally and Hubby's house for them and said that they could live in it, as long as Sally and Hubby paid this thing called interest. Sally shows a lot of interest in the interest, but it seems that the bank definitely has the upper hand on such interesting matters). Bank number one has a look at their computer screen. Something that Sally thinks banks seems to like. They come back to Sally after a few moments. "Yes Mrs. Lomax. In fact, you are right. You did pay us. We have now put a note on your account and reversed the £40 charge. Sally had not even been aware of this particular charge, so although grateful and relieved, is also slightly annoyed that it had been there in the first place. Still, onwards and upwards, £40 in the right direction, the day is getting slightly better.

Next call. Next bank. Big grumble. Big moan. Had been working. Had been busy. Had forgotten to check accounts. Had forgotten to transfer some money at the relevant time. All sorted now........ blah blah blah....... "ALL RIGHT Mrs. Lomax........ On this occasion, as a gesture of goodwill, as we banks are fundamentally good natured Quaker types, who are seriously, really, honestly into making people's lives so much easier, we will refund the £39 to your account." "Thank you so much.......grovel......grovel some more.....grovel some more." "However, Mrs. Lomax......." There then follows long lecture about how Sally should run her account from her on in..... Grovel some more. Put phone down. Day getting slightly better. Now £79 up. Sally's next call is to the people who are hopefully to be supplying her new boiler. Ironically Sally discovered that due to the enormous quote from British Gas earlier this year, that it it is almost as cheap to get a range style cooker which will do the heating as well, instead of an ordinary boiler, which due to the many radiators that need heating, needs in fact to be two boilers and, due to the regulations having changed, need to be moved to the cellar. The range has the added advantage of being allowed to go where the existing boiler is in the kitchen, in the fireplace, will look very nice indeed, and will not leave a very big hole in the kitchen to be subsequently dealt with, and also paid for. As such, although Sally is not a golfer, to coin a golfer's phrase, it is a "win win" situation.

Always fighting the pennies however, and these are actually the pennies of a very kind MIL (Mother in Law) this time, as she has kindly offered to pay for said device, Sally asks the inevitable question: "Can you better that quote please? We are trying very hard to get it within x number of mars bars.." "I'll ask the boss", says person on the phone, "but I wouldn't hold your breath." Sally holds it for a second, and then agrees with the man on the phone. She does however have another idea. "Some dealers were offering £220 worth of cooking equipment to go with the range. I saw it on the internet. Are you?" "That offer ran out on 1st October." Says helpful man on end of phone. "But that was only a week ago", says Sally, and it has taken you eight weeks to complete the quote. "Yes well, the offer comes from the supplier. There isn't much we can do about that. Sally ends call, and then calls the supplier........ Bit of checking at their end. Get another phonecall from the range dealer. They will honour the promotional pack.

As she adds up her day's gains, it seems to Sally that sometimes, hassle, whilst irritating, is after all an essential part of life. The total gain for today's hassles is £299. Better than working thinks Sally.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Memory

"Did you call ED's school about the AS levels?" said Hubby on Monday evening. ED is away at the moment, on a French A'level trip to France. She had left a list of stuff for us to do in her absence, as time had run out before she had departed. The call to the school was one of those things....

"I didn't realise that 'that' was on my 'list' of jobs to do," I retorted back, thinking of the million and one things that I did need to do, for everyone, not just ED.

Besides, it had been a busy few days. Loser Cruiser, back from the menders, cleaned with the help (or not) of Tinkerbell Mushroom, Gymnast and friends, and looking for the first time in its short Lomax life like a semi respectable car, starting first time and driving beautifully, had gone to find its next owner. An owner who hopefully would be more appreciative of its strengths, and less damning of its weaknesses.

The only problem was, that with Loser Cruiser being sold on Sunday, it left us with just one car, as we are getting a replacement car............but I am not picking it up until this Friday. One car to use as a family: ED's mini, which much to my horror, I discovered, after throwing every document in the office around in search for car registration documents of Loser Cruiser, that its MOT had run out in July..........

Finally found registration documents of Loser Cruiser. We had actually bought the car after all. Kept cool. Sold car. Gratefully accepted cash, even though it had cost us dearly in the four months that we had owned said car to get it back into proper state. We had certainly made a loss over all.

And then, when the buyers had left, went into a panic and a bit of a rant about how we didn't now have a legal car to drive and that it had to be booked in at the EARLIEST opportunity so that we had at least one car to drive..... legally.

Hubby pragmatically pointed out that although it was a bit of a crisis, in fact it was no different to how it had been for the last two months.

"No", I protested. "Ignorance is bliss. Even if it doesn't stand up in law."

And so, finally, with the car booked in for an MOT, with some loser cruiser cash in the bank, and with much juggling around of family commitments, to get them to places without normal modes of transport until Friday, things calmed down again in the Lomax household.

Sitting on the table was ED's folder with AS level results within.

On top of said folder was handwritten note...........

Unmistakeably my handwriting.

"Call Ed's school first thing Monday morning to sort this out."

It had been on my "list".