If anybody knows how to get that annoying Skype thing off every single Blogger post that I do, I’d appreciate it. It keeps screwing up my machine.

Yep,. it’s been a bit of a summer. I’m supposed to be on holiday in Northern Ireland but we had to cancel that when it looked like the boiler was about to pack in. Then the man from British Gas said that our water pressure was too low for a condensing boiler, and refused to quote us for a new one. The Thames Water call centre told me to ask the neighbours if they were having problems. Several shouting sessions with Thames Water, and a few questions to the neighbours later, (L next door can’t have a bath with the central heating on), they said that nobody else complained so they wouldn’t investigate the problem. We got a bit more pressure out of the system, but it still stops delivering hot water whenever it doesn’t feel like it, and nobody seems all that bothered about it, apart from us.

Until yesterday.

Yesterday a lady came around to service our boiler. My feminist heart soared and I wished her well. Until we came home in the afternoon to a flat full of gas fumes. The man from Transco switched the boiler off, and replaced our meter with a new one while he was there. Nice man. M reckons I pulled. So, we now have NO hot water or central heating, and British Gas said they couldn’t send anybody until this afternoon. We were supposed to be going off to play pirates inn Greenwich today, so M, Ceej and G the neighbour have gone without me because Muggins here has to wait in for the gas person.

Other mundane irritations, such as the socket under the sink giving out in mid wash, and the hosepipe ban preventing me from using our new outside tap, or the drought killing off everything in pots and giving the tomatoes blossom end rot, abound. Then there’s work. I now have to carry everything on my back because the Boss wants me in the Big House, but there is no desk or anywhere to store my kit while I’m there. The head of online strategy seems to think that strategic thinking is all about saying yes to the loudest shouter in the meeting; and I’m still on a temporary contract. And there was the crisis about going back into journalism. I had an interview with a business publishing company about a fairly senior-sounding job. Until I got there and realised that it was another one-woman show where I’d spend most of my time justifying my existence to scared people or defending my position from teenagers who think I’m too old to understand the internet. To be honest, I’m thinking of a sharp left-hand turn into technical authoring.

And then there was the identity theft. We discovered that somebody had been using our address to make orders for mobile phones and other internet goods, taking delivery when we weren’t there, and not bothering to pay for said goods. One of my cameras went missing too, but that might not be related. So, we changed the locks and terminated the cleaning contract. Not before the agency (Amy Cleaners, if you’re interested) extorted another £153 from us because we didn’t give them enough notice. Anyway, the mystery deliveries have stopped, and we notified the police. Who said our address didn’t exist because it wasn’t on their database.

Ceej: fine. Regular tantrums and power struggles, though she’s beginning to recognise and respect a certain glint in my eye and tone of voice that says: “Do as I say or there will be Measures…” And we can’t get her potty trained properly. I need a holiday.


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