Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble

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Word of the day: Kapooey – Badly wrong

Weather: soggy

Mood: also soggy

When I arrived this morning I gave the usual cheery good morning to Mike, he growled, which is not like him at all.

‘S’up?’ I asked.

‘What’s up? What’s up? They’ve ruined my fucking lawn, haven’t they? Ruined it!’

It’s seven thirty in the morning, I’m not ready for this yet.

‘Hmm? Who have?’ I say, keeping it vague.

‘Those fucking guys who laid the path! Look!’ he pointed out the window. ‘Looks like they were doing wheelies last night!’

I couldn’t see much out of the window, so with Mateo I went and had a look. Using our cunning detective skills we worked out that, whatever vehicle it was, the driver had tried to turn around on the gravel, somehow missed and landed on the grass. Then panicked and spun round backwards in a large circle, sunk into the soft muddy grass, revved the engine to get out, churning big holes as they went, before finally driving off leaving gullies. It was pretty spectacular really, and I had to feel sorry for the poor bugger. Especially when my manager started ranting that he’d get the driver fired. And this was after not finishing the path yesterday. Luckily managers at my place go more for bark than bite, so I expect the trouble will fizz out before anyone gets in real trouble.

You had one job!

one job

Word of the day: Bodewash – cow dung, bodge, piece of poor or clumsy workmanship

Weather: yep, there was some

Mood: yep, I had some

My title is kind of unfair, since it’s about the contractors my managers got in to lay a path, and it actually looked pretty complicated, but if the meme fits…

Over the last two weeks the builders brought about ten vehicles in, from diggers to tractors to trailers to some kind of Transformer-in-disguise. Today they arrived with a huge truck filled with grit that couldn’t fit through our gates (fascinating to watch them try for twenty minutes though) and a huge bucket on wheels that carried the grit from the huge truck to the path, and a machine that spread it, then one that flattened and rolled it. And there were ten guys who spread it out and tamped it down. The operation took all day, and was hugely impressive. We got to watch an hour of it over lunch, always enjoyable to watch other people working while you eat your sandwiches. Especially if they keep stopping to argue like these guys did. We couldn’t hear what they were saying, but there was pointing and one guy threw his rake down.

On a couple occasions Mateo wandered over to tell them they were doing it all wrong, but he chickened out at the last minute. It was a shame to go back to work, to our more familiar machines.

When we returned to base at the end of the day, we saw the path, beautifully laid, flat, sparkly black. Stretching all the way from the managers’ office through the trees to the other managers’ office. Except for the two-foot-wide gap where there wasn’t enough grit to reach the gate, apparently the huge grit truck wasn’t huge enough.

They were all booked up with other work after today, so we’re not sure if they’re coming back.  We’re told they left in quite a hurry, taking their many vehicles with them.

D’oh!

ride on

Weather: pretty good

Mood: not bad

Word of the day: Bufflehead – a duck, an idiot (I feel this is rude to ducks)

I was out on the ride-on mowing the lawn again. I think I said before how much I love that, whizzing about making lovely straight lines (straightish, anyway). When I’d finished I had to clean out the mower, that means getting a blower out to clean off the grass, putting the huge bucket at the back up into the air to clean inside it. So I blew away all the grass and left it all sparkly and new in its cheery green and drove it into the shed.

The shed is only just larger than the mower, so you have to edge in around shelves full of junk and step ladders. But once I’d got the front end in, it stalled. I’ve not known it stall before. I started the engine again, there was a grinding noise, and I stalled again. I started to panic, tried one more time, it felt like I was stuck. Something beneath the wheels maybe? So I got out, walked out of the shed and realised the huge bucket was still up and had been in the process of ripping the roof off the shed. It hadn’t succeeded though, and no one had seen. So I put the bucket down and drove in, then crept away. All fine. There will be a point I get caught fucking up.

I also chickened out of calling the landlady today, and then hid and ate popcorn in my room, so I didn’t have to face the others. Still not sure how to play this.

Time to draw straws/breadsticks

breadstick

Day of reckoning: Who is going to speak to the landlady? We agreed to each pick a breadstick, whoever got the short breadstick (we didn’t have straws) contacts the landlady to ask why she’s visiting while we’re out.

Weather: bit nippy

Mood: foul

Word of the day: Jigamaree – a thingamajig; a cunning manoeuvre

Yep. I fucking lost. I thought I had method – I thought the wobbly breadstick was the short one, so I avoided that one. But now I’m thinking Jinjing also had method, and she made the long breadsticks wobble to catch out smart arses like me.

In other news: At work the shorts competition (who can wear shorts from now until winter) is getting tense between Dan and Mike. I was going to work with Dan out in a garden and Mike pulled me aside before I left.

‘It’s cold this morning, make sure that Dan doesn’t change into trousers while he’s out, won’t you?’

‘How would he even do that?’

‘Just make sure, I’m trusting you,’ said Mike.

‘But I don’t care,’ I tried to explain.

Half an hour later I was digging up some ground elder, when Mike called my phone, ‘Is Dan still wearing shorts?’

‘I don’t know, he’s on the other side of the garden,’ I said.

‘Go and check! Go and check! He might have changed!’

‘But I still don’t care,’ I said. Mike wasn’t listening. He wouldn’t get off the phone until I’d made sure Dan was still wearing shorts.

It seems we are competing.

sun

“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.”  ― George Orwell, 1984

Weather: beautiful day to be a gardener

Mood: sitting pretty singing a ditty

Word of the day: Eutropic – turning to face the sun

The sun was bursting out today. Mike was worried and squirted some sun cream onto a tissue (it’s attached to the wall) and brought it round to all of us so we wouldn’t burn. That’s why I love this place.

Mike was in shorts, and at break Dan mentioned he might do the same tomorrow.

‘Ok, but once you’ve put shorts on you’ve got to wear them until December!’ said Mike.

‘Why’s that then?’ I asked, confused.

‘That’s the way it is. You put shorts on, you’ve got to keep them on until winter. It’s a competition, see who can wear them longest.’

‘Alright,’ said Dan, and I boggled a bit, what if it gets cold? That’s just making life unpleasant. If they want competition, can’t they play poker or something?

Another update: For those concerned, I’ve posted a question on a forum about the black star on the tube. Maybe someone knows what I’m talking about. I also travelled on the Jubilee line today, no star. And no star at the other end of the Bakerloo train. So it may just be the last carriage of the Bakerloo trains.

Tackling the stench beast

What horrors lurk behind the fridge?

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Image from here: Monster jokes

Weather: drizzle, the kind that turns everything to mud

Mood: quite happy

Word of the day: Scurryfunge – frantically cleaning before company arrives

Today I decided to take control and find the cause of the disturbing smell in the fridge. The smell was a bit like rancid milk and vomit and I felt pretty disturbed imagining what kind of twisted creature would create a smell like that.

There were a few places the smell might be coming from: under the fridge; at the back of it; or from the big pipe at the side of the fridge that looks like it belongs to a tumble dryer, even though we have no such machine. I sniffed down the pipe, and Mike peered  out from behind the door to shout in horror,

‘Don’t bloody smell it! It’ll leap out at you!’ then he hid back behind the door.

I pulled the fridge out, looked underneath. Finally I pulled out the drip tray, and there it was, the nest of my rancid milk life-form. There were leaves, bits of plastic and goo. I didn’t poke too deep because some things are better left unknown, but I emptied what I could into a bin bag (I’m sure the whole construction was held together with chewing gum) and then left the tray to soak.

I haven’t quite got over it yet.

Let the chips fall where they may

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Picture from here

Word of the day: zyzzyva – South American weevil

Weather: patchy

Mood: a bit snippy

Barry the road sweeper came to join us over break again. Everybody but me (I was doing the washing up) left the room, which upset him.

‘None of them like me, they’re all avoiding me,’ he snarled.

‘I think they’ve just gone out to smoke,’ I lied.

‘Yeah right. You don’t know what it’s like here, everyone in this place is out to get me.’

‘Take it easy, Barry. I don’t think anyone’s out to get you, people are just doing their own thing.’

Barry walked over to the sink, he leaned in towards me and said conspiratorially,

‘I saw the helicopters earlier, you saw them?’

‘Sure, I think they were air-ambulances,’ I said, wondering why the conversation had switched.

‘Bollocks they are! They were watching me!’

‘The helicopters are watching you?’

‘Yeah, but I know what they’re up to, they won’t catch me out.’

‘Ah,’ I said.

The best laid plans of mice…

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‘Aw look at his little snuffly nose!’

‘Argh! Get it away from me! It’s a monster!’

 

Weather: grey skies later dissipating into a Simpson’s sky.

Mood: alright.

Word of the day: teratogenic – producing monsters or abnormal growth

Today the mice came out to play and were darting around under the benches in the smoking area. With much shouting, Mike climbed onto the bench and refused to put his feet down until it was time to leave. Mateo was throwing down a few crumbs left over from lunch. He thinks we should fatten the mice up and have a roast. I suggested we get a cat.

Back home Jinjing left a load of cleaning products outside Neville’s room, the mop, the bucket, floor cleaner. Hamoudi was standing about looking doleful. This feels like the beginning of a war. I made sure to stock up on snacks so I can stay in my room if need be. I’ve been hiding in my room since, Neville should be home soon.

It’s the way of things! You can’t mess with the way of things!

What’s your unusual outrage-trigger? What will give you the wrath no matter how trivial?

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Weather: alright

Mood: ok

Word of the day: Agowilt – sudden sickening and unnecessary fear

The hedgehog cake face is still in the fridge. It gives me a shock every time I open the door and it’s grinning up at me like something out of a horror film. Nobody wants to throw it away, because it’s food. Nobody wants to eat it because it’s a cute hedgehog. We are stuck with it forever.

Today’s work drama was the big boss wanting Mike to cut the grass on a 1 (the possible settings are 1-5, the lowest we go is 3.) Mike stomped into the smoking area red-faced and raging.

‘What is he thinking? The man is mad! Mad! I’ve never cut that fucking lawn on a one! I’ve been cutting this grass for thirty years, never on a one!’ He sat down, hunched over into his fury, tugging on his vape to calm himself. At that point Nobby (another boss, nobody knows what of, something to do with pavements) came storming around the corner.

‘Did that twat just ask you to cut the grass on a one?’

‘Yes!’ said Mike, fists balled, eyes popping.

‘What’s the matter with him? I worked on a golf course for ten years, you never cut on a one! He’s an idiot!’

‘You cut on a three,’ said Mike howling like a wounded animal, ‘everyone knows you cut on a three!’

‘He’s lost his mind,’ said Nobby.

‘He’s changing everything, this is the beginning of the end!’ said Mike.

It took a while for Mike to calm down, and then we compromised by cutting the grass on a two. Contrary to expectations, it was fine and looked quite nice.

Picking up skills and massacring animals

 

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Look at those eyes! They have seen horror.

Monday is a shock it takes me all week to recover from.

Weather: a bit iffy

Mood: hermit crab in a bucket

Word of the day: Decarnate  denied or deprived of physical bodily form

Really enjoying my new connection to Mateo. Today he taught me how to make a simple bomb using a bolt, two nuts and some match heads. ‘For if you ever need to fight off the police,’ he explained.

For his birthday, Dan brought in a selection of cakes. One of the cakes was a large cute hedgehog (in pic). So cute that nobody could bring themselves to cut it.

‘I can’t do it!’ cried Mike. ‘Just look at his face!’ Over break everyone was milling in and out of the room, looking at the delicious cake sadly, unable to take a knife to it. Finally, somebody greedy enough (it may have been me) cut off the arse end. Slowly, everybody took a slice, reducing the cake bit by bit, leaving the face. Nobody could cut the face, so it now sits in the fridge. I’m told this is the only time a cake hasn’t been completely eaten in one sitting.