Saturday, 14 April 2012

Lean Times ...

... from a Journal keeping perspective. This entry could just have well been entitled "Where the Fuck have I been".

My last post was made on the 4th April and it is now the 14th. I suppose I had better pull together a précis of the past nine or ten days. Don't worry; I'll leave out the interesting bits.

As previously mentioned, much of the week leading up to the Easter weekend was spent carrying out the preparation work on the stairs and landing. I think it fair to say that this was a soul destroying task. At the end of each day we were filthy and tired and the room looked just the same apart from a liberal quantity of dust on every surface. We turned a metaphorical corner on Easter Monday when we decided that enough had been done and a huge clean up took place. 30% even managed to find time to put a coat of liquid wax on the Landing floor whilst I spent an inordinate amount of time on the refurbishment of the elm trim panels on the staircase.

During the past week Andy & Steve have spent a couple of days on site and the walls and woodwork are now all bearing the correct colours. They will be back on Monday to apply the final coats of emulsion and satinwood.

We did manage a modicum of leisure time whilst we were off work but not a huge amount. 30%'s birthday was on 5th April and we lunched at The Brook on the outskirts of Redditch and took a wander around some local antique establishments. There was no surprise present as we had both decided that we should treat ourselves to a new iPad3 as a joint gift. TP already has an iPad. It is a fabulous little tablet but it seems to be permanently held in his grimy hands and he can rarely be persuaded to offer it up for use by another member of the family. After much faffing around to see whether we could get any discount anywhere we finally just went and bought the damned thing from Tesco on Easter Monday. It is a lovely piece of equipment and I am hoping that it will become 30%'s browsing tool of choice meaning that she will leave her work laptop in it's bag and not spend her leisure time "just looking at a couple of e-mails"*.

Badman Senior, Step Mum Sue and Tilly joined us for dinner on Easter Sunday and we had a lovely rib of beef. BMS was on good form and infuriated us all by feeding T&M from the table. He adores the dogs and just cannot resist giving them treats. If you look at the girth of Tilly you will see how weak his will power is. Fortunately we are made of sterner stuff here at The Pile and T&M have managed to retain their lithe conformation...

... it was a tale told by BMS that gave me the title for this Journal entry. It is nothing apocryphal or funny. It was just a recollection from his past and for some reason I thought I should jot it down so that it doesn't become forgotten...

Back in the 1930's my Grandfather was a Market Gardener in the Vale of Evesham. At this time of year the sprout harvest was finished and the Asparagus harvest was yet to come in so this was seen as a very lean time. To make ends meet my Grandfather used to work as a stage hand at the Scala Theatre on the High Street during this lull in veg production. The Scala is long gone and became the Clifton Cinema many years before I was born. That too has long since closed and subsequent reincarnations as Bingo and Night Clubs don't seem to have been particularly successful either. BMS also remembers his father delivering the Evesham Journal to outlying villages as a way of bringing in a few shillings until the 'gras was ready to cut.

The Easter break is now over and I am back at work. Tigger has returned from New York and we have spent this 4 day working week trying to get things in to shape for next week's review cycle and release of costs to our American colleagues. It has been quite an ordeal. We are making head way but it is like wading though treacle and if a thing can go wrong it certainly will. So far we have had to struggle with both personnel and tooling. Many of the people we need are on holiday and the work products they have delivered have either been wrong or right but in the wrong format. The result of this is that everything needs to be checked and tweaked or in some case duplicated so that we can pull everything together in to a single entity. Approvers are now starting to get nervous and I am frequently having to step in to persuade, cajole and name drop to ensure that ticks get put in the right boxes.

After a long day with a Power Sander or a long day in front of a laptop I have been reluctant to do anything more than vegetate with a glass of wine in front of the TV and I offer this up as my excuse for not blogging for the best part of ten days.

Before I finish I will just mention that one of the hens has gone broody this week and 30% managed to source a dozen or so fertile eggs. If all goes well we may have chicks around the second of May.

* She is not a person to whom relaxation comes easily and consequently using a work laptop for web surfing makes taking a peek at the in-box all too easy. I. on the other hand, tend to go with "Fuck them, I've finished work for the day"

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