Saturday, September 13, 2003

House of electricy (and watery) death, part 3

by Suw on September 13, 2003

Phones were still half knackered after last weekend’s little episode, so today we went through the whole dial tone/no dial tone thing again whilst Dad tried to fix them. Then the trip went because Mum dared to do something as radical as put the kettle on.

Shortly after electricity and phones were restored there came howls of despair from the kitchen. The washing machine had decided that, although it said that it had finished, it wasn’t going to actually bother emptying, so when Mum opened it up water gushed forth. She quickly slammed the door shut and sensibly left it to me and Dad to deal with. So spent half an hour or so wading round a flooded kitchen with large numbers of rags and old towels trying to soak up the water with items other than my clothing.

Then the electricity went out again. This time not our fault, but it did coincide directly with Dad defrosting kippers for lunch so not sure if that was in any way related. Electricity people did the usual ?oh, yes, er, no idea? thing, so we sat about for a while contemplating another powerless weekend. Just as we’d settled down with a lunch that required no cooking, and Dad was halfway through a bowl of prawns, the lecie came back on. Guess he’ll have to have the kippers for supper.

We were also supposed to have a couple come round to look at the house, which my parents have had on the market for several months but which they are finding it hard to sell because it’s in the middle of bloody nowhere. Yet again, it was a no show (possibly luckily this time round, as they were scheduled to turn up mid-flood), and we hear from the estate agent that it was because they couldn’t find the place.

It’s no surprise. We try not to get stuff delivered here as the delivery people haven’t got a clue where we are. More often than not they either call us plaintively from the telephone box just round the corner (in which case we go and get them – it’s easier than trying to explain where we are), or go back to the depot and pretend they called round when they didn’t. As both my parents are usually home all day, the ?we called? ruse never works and Mum’s an expert now at tearing couriers off a strip.

Even the bloody Post Office can’t always find this place and our letters are sometimes delayed by days, or sometimes weeks, as they end up a couple of miles away at Haythorne, instead of here in Horton Heath. Ok, so the two places both begin with an h, but they’re not really that similar are they?

And it really bugs me when companies such as Southern Electric or whatever make up bits of our address just because they’re too damn stupid to realise that our house just has a number. There’s no road name here, no house name, just a number and the hamlet* name. Why the hell they feel the need to insert ?The Cottages? or some such nonsense into our address, I have no idea, and I protest vehemently every time it occurs. They seem utterly incapable of changing it though, for some reason. But there is no such address as ?X, The Cottages, Horton Heath?, it doesn’t bloody exist.

*Btw, this place isn’t actually, technically a hamlet. It’s too small for that. To qualify as a hamlet I think you need to have a sub-post office, and we don’t. We did once – an ancient and rather dilapidated cob building it was, at the end of the road, but one night someone nicked the old post box from the wall and the whole thing fell down. Really we’re just a collection of houses that happen to be within stone’s throw of each other.

Yeah, so it’s been a bit of a domestic day, so far. Still, I did have a new idea for another screenplay. Once I’ve written the ones I’ve actually done work on in the past, I’ll be able to start on the ideas that are starting to fester in my head already. This new idea is a sort of gangster flick. Hm, never knew I had that in me.

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I've just checked the cost of train tickets from Bournemouth to Manchester. Nearly 80 quid for a return. It would actually be cheaper to get the train up to London, then get a 'bargain return' to Leeds, and then go over to Manchester from there. Admittedly, it'd take over six and a half hours, but it'd be 30 quid cheaper. Salisbury to Leeds and across would be the same price and marginally quicker. Salisbury to Manchester would be quite a bit quicker – about five hours – but still ?64. I've heard tell of bargain returns from London to Manchester, which could possibly work out at forty quid, once I get a cheap return from Bournemouth to London on top of that, but when I searched on the web site, that option didn't come up at all even though they said it existed on the front page.

Of course, getting these bargain fares is a tricky business, as you have to book several years in advance, and that means knowing what you're doing several years in advance too. I'm never that bloody organised. A standard five day open return is ?175. Ouch.

Oh well, pfft goes my idea of popping up to Manchester for a weekend to suss the place out. And only the little fishes know what I'd do if I actually got an interview up there. Scav like buggery, I suppose.

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