100daysofgrievances #30 TUESDAY BLUES

Tuesdays have not been good to me recently. Is there anything worse than returning to work after a bank holiday weekend?  Why yes, I think you’ll find that there most certainly is.  Try facing that terrible post-hol Tuesday when it follows a week during which you took the Thursday and Friday off, too.  An additional extension, as it were.   An extra-long bank holiday weekend during which a most marvellous friend and a favourite sister both came to stay.  A bank holiday weekend with a beer festival in the middle of it… Now that made for a fear-filled Tuesday reminiscent of post-actual-festival Tuesdays. Those excruciating and never-ending ones that make you vow that next time you’ll save enough hols to take the entire week off to cower indoors, watch Peep Show, rehydrate and start feeling normal again. 

So that was a couple of terrible Tuesdays ago. Last Tuesday didn’t get off to a great start, either.  On the preceding Saturday, we moved house. The move itself was an unprecedented success: done and dusted and all the movers retired to the pub by 11am! (My supervisory role went swimmingly, also).  Alas, as they do tend to do, things embarked on something of a rapid descent after that weekend high-point, reaching rock-bottom sometime on Tuesday (naturally).

The Tuesday in question, I awoke to the third morning in my new abode. Now, it’s worth noting that Sunday was  a complete write-off (we were in the pub before we ate lunch, remember, and that is never going to end well) and Monday was bathed in that slightly surreal ‘I’m in a weird new house’ aura. You know what I mean… Waking up really early, not knowing where you are… Feeling a bit like you’re in a hotel – admittedly one that would definitely  fall within the ‘budget’ category – when you take a shower in the unfamiliar bathroom… Leaving the house, fumbling with the locks and then having to pause for a few seconds as you contemplate which direction you actually need to head in order to get to work…All the while, not entirely sure you’re appropriately dressed because there are no mirrors on the walls yet…

Well, except for the truly horrible trio of narrow wavy mirrors adorning the bathroom wall.  A tasteless trio that appears to be adhered to the mint green wall with lashings of superglue. William Morris would turn in his grave if he could observe this monstrosity. A highly aesthetically-displeasing mirror that is too narrow to actually  see yourself in would be bad enough.. But THREE of them? The mind boggles! 


The mirrors are a bit like this:


However a none-too-wise amateur interior designer has placed them too far apart so that you can never see your complete torso… 


By Tuesday, however, the new-house novelty had well and truly worn off. I dragged my weary self out of bed at my usual pre-move hour and then had to endure a frantic crack-of-dawn obstacle course as the BF and I attempted not to injure each other as we both hunted through dangerously full cupboards for hidden teabags (whose idea was it to unpack the kitchen stuff post-Prosecco?), rummaged through bin bags full of clothes that really weren’t suitable for work, battled with a recalcitrant temperature adjuster in the shower, cursed elusive light switches, towels and hairbrushes, stubbed our toes on badly-placed furniture and tripped over yet-to-be unpacked boxes. All the while attempting to navigate the unfamiliar and unusually steep stairs that our new house is encumbered with. *

Moving house is a stressful experience, there’s no two ways about it! Take for example that evening last week when I took it upon myself to make a meal for the first time in the New Abode (the kebab with the enlightened addition of grated cheese, and the not-so-wise accompaniment of taramasalata that I assembled upon returning from the pub on Saturday night, post move, clearly doesn’t count).**

I was massively excited by the prospect of cooking on gas for the first time in years (was I not just saying a couple of weeks ago how old I’m becoming?). My hob-themed excitement was short-lived and promptly morphed into abject frustration when I realised I couldn’t switch the damn thing on. A frantic search for the gas ‘switch’ ensued… I will be honest here, I had no idea what I was looking for and had been paying very little attention when the young letting agent had walked round the house going through the exceedingly long inventory with me. There’s a limit to the number of times one can feign even the remotest interest in questions such as “It says here the paintwork above the door is magnolia… I’d say it was more an off-white, what do you think?” or “My sheet says there’s a medium crack in the top left tile, it’s not the left left one though is it, there’s one even further left”… I’m not even joking. I think the only thing that prevented my actual dying from boredom was the fact he kept infuriatingly  mispronouncing ‘wrought’ (surprising number of wrought iron fixtures and fittings in my new obode). 

Anyway, it’s safe to say I wasn’t paying the blindest bit of notice when he advised me as to the whereabouts of the gas ‘switch’ (Lever? Button? Tap?) In retrospect, it might have saved me much valuable time had I listened to any of his lengthy insights pertaining to the various keys and their respective doors, TV cable sockets, phone points and the like…

It was this initial foray into the intricacies of cooking with gas that made me realise that we no longer possessed a smoke alarm. Ok, I lie, it was the small incident which saw me attempt to light my lovely new house-warming Jo Malone candle with a makeshift ‘taper’ (a bit torn off a letter addressed to a previous tennent, if you must know). Thanks Lindsay; it smelled divine once the smoke had cleared and I’m guessing the lighters and matches must be in the same place as the teabags. ***

Unfortunately, It’s not only lighters and teabags that I’ve struggled to find. Last week I actually managed to power-walk right past my front door on my way home from work (in my defence, the letting agent had most thoughtlessly removed the massive ‘LET’ sign from outside – how was I meant to recognise my new house?!) To be honest, I actually stomped right to the end of the road (in the pouring rain, I’ll have you know) before I realised I’d overshot. I truly thought it would be the BF who’d arrive at the door of the old house – quite possibly post-pub – in the coming days/weeks, but a couple more minutes of marching and it would have been me trying in vain to shove my key into my old front door. 

As it was, I came to my senses and had to do that thing familiar to all those who like to walk at speed but have a sense of direction that is a little lacking… That ‘I meant to walk really fast to this tree, slow down (so as not to look so obvious), turn round, then set off towards whence I came (all the while looking round in the hope I’ve not been spotted)’ thing.

Tomorrow is Tuesday and I’m not awaiting  it with eager anticipation and now I’ll tell you for why… Yesterday I ran my first 10k (the result of a bet…). I’m not a natural born runner – I don’t believe anyone with breasts is – but I actually enjoyed it (despite the race-themed nightmares I endured in the lead-up to the big day). All of the things I usually detest about running were notably absent! Not a single person commented on the likelihood of me giving myself black eyes as I ran, I didn’t encounter any swans (I tend to run by the river when I can be bothered), no children scooted into my path, ditto idiotic cyclists, I didn’t have to dodge cars, and everyone ran in the same direction (none of that awkwardness that occurs when you meet someone running the opposite way and embark upon that cringy  ducking and diving routine as you repeatedly try to pass each other on the same side). All in all it was pretty successful. 

The only slight blip was when I overtook the BF somewhere close to the halfway mark. Did I mention that I overtook him? As I sped past, I smugly groped his bum (yes, it is possible to grope a bum in a smug manner as one overtakes another). Instantly, I was overcome by the real and horrific fear that I had groped the wrong bum. He was dressed all in white (unlike the vast majority of the runners who donned pink tee shirts if they were of the female persuasion and blue if they possessed a Y chromosome – blatantly  sexist, in my opinion) so stood out from the crowd… But then so did everyone else from his work, and members of all other organisations who were racing in white… 

Luckily my fears were alleviated as I glanced round to see it was indeed the BF (by this point he was a mere speck in the distance as I raced on ahead, of course…) and I believe that shot of fearful adrenaline probably served me well for the remaining 5k. Today I hurt a little but I know from experience that tomorrow is when it’s going to hit and I will spend my Tuesday grunting and groaning, ruing those stairs of an unnecessary aggressive incline, and vowing I’ll never run again (well, at least until someone bets me that I won’t …) 

* I have no idea how I didn’t notice just how impossibly steep the stairs were during our initial viewing. Perhaps I was merely glad they weren’t of the the slippery slatty variety as described in my MOVING HOUSE rant… https://caththebruce.wordpress.com/2015/03/20/100daysofgrievances-27-moving-house

**I surely can’t be the only person who prides themselves on putting together a decent plate of food, only to consumes a glass or two of red and watch all rules sail out the window?  Only last week I informed a friend (with an air of superiority, I am sure) that I would never put chicken, brie and caramelised onions together in a tartlet.  Oh no, Little Miss Smug over here would only combine chicken with basil, mozzarella and tomato, marry brie with a dollop of cranberry, and match caramelised onions with a nice rich goats’ cheese.  Except when she’s been to the pub, that is…. Then it’s that winning combination of kebab, fish and cheese all the way! Next time I might even upload a photo to Instagram… 

*** interesting fact of the day: If you go online in hunt of a free smoke alarm – I was sure I’d read somewhere that they are government issue or something – your house must be surveyed by an on duty fire-fighter first. I kid you not. And the best bit is, it actually states they are likely to turn up in a fire engine. If you still don’t believe me, look right here: http://www.fireservice.co.uk/safety/hfsc Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that there could be some ladies of a certain ilk that would be exceedingly interested in this info… And it definitely ties in with Mr Morris’ views…




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