Posts Tagged ‘door’

To the flyer dropper…

Dear Mr. Flyer Dropper,

There is something very serious I must discuss with you. I keep meaning to open the door as soon as I hear a flyer being pushed through and talk to you properly about it. But I’m usually too comfy on the sofa. And a little bit too lazy. I shall say it here, therefore, because I do not have to move from the sofa.

Mr. Flyer Dropper, are you stupid? Is that what this is about? You genuinely have no comprehension of what you are doing? You are stupid, in the academic sense of the word? You drop flyers because it is the only thing you can be trusted to do without breaking it?

For if you are not stupid, maybe you are one of those extremely clever people who has no connection to real life? A savant, perhaps? For a savant cannot be expected to take notice of such trivial matters.

Or maybe you don’t care? Maybe you don’t care because you are dropping flyers for a living and this is not what you intended for your life and so, as a fist-shake to the world, you do your job half-heartedly, to show everyone that you are too good for it.

Well, it doesn’t tell me that. You want to know what it tells me? It tells me that if you can’t carry out the most basic of tasks – dropping a flyer through a letterbox – you probably won’t go far in life. And you’re pissing me right off while you’re at it.

Why, Mr. Flyer Dropper? Why do you do this?
image
I mean, it’s more out than in. I’m surprised it didn’t fall back out of it’s own accord.

Let’s get a close up.
image

Ridiculous!

And from the front.
image

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Now, I don’t expect you to know anything about my house but I shall just tell you anyway, as an FYI for next time.

My house is little and old. It is beautiful and compact and I love it very much. Due to its oldness, it doesn’t have any central heating. It also has huge single-glazed sash windows. And no carpets downstairs, just floorboards. And the only heat source in the house is a gas fire in the front room. This means that when the weather is cold, my little house is freezing.

Cold drafts blow up from in between the floorboards and the outside toilet is abandoned for the winter, in favour of the slightly less cold upstairs toilet. Any trip away from the front room fire and into the frozen wilderness beyond is made with great haste.

Therefore, Mr. Flyer Dropper, when you decide, every single day, to pop by my front door, push the corner of some silly leaflet about a pizza delivery place near by (what an insult to my kitchen, pizza delivery?!) which then wedges the letterbox open, you have allowed a significant cold breeze to enter my little already-cold home. I have felt this letterbox breeze as far down the hallway as the kitchen.

Yes, young man, I kid you not. You have made my house that little bit colder. It’s already very bloody cold! You don’t need to make it colder.

What is wrong with you? Just push the bloody leaflet all the way through the door! It’s not that much effort. You’re already standing at the door and have opened the letterbox, just keep pushing that leaflet, goddamnyou! Don’t be so stupid.

Yours faithfully,
Grumpy Laura

P.S. I’m actually ok with the cold. As mentioned before, I was built like an eskimo, but it’s the principle of the thing, ok?!

My walk to Ham House

I do this walk once or twice a week when I go to Ham House to volunteer and I love it. Once I’ve got out of town, I hit the river and this is the best part of the walk….

image

Through Buccleuch Gardens….

image

Out the other side and along the edge of Petersham Meadows…

image

Petersham Meadows on my left and the Thames on my right…

image

Cows in Petersham Meadows…

image

Ducks on the path…

image

The Thames, behind a ton of forage-able dock leaves….

image

Horses came here recently!

image

Marble Hill House on the opposite side of the river so I know Ham House is soon….

image

When I see an open space in the trees ahead on the left, I know Ham House is only another minute away…

image

Sure enough…

image

The little bridge….

image

The trees are hiding the house…

image

Horses from the riding school next door….

image

Almost….

image

There it is!

image

To the right of the front door, the windows you can see at the bottom here, those are the kitchen windows! I spend all day looking out at feet!

image

I take the side gate around the building (that’s my kitchen window again, bottom left)…

image

… Which brings me to the door the volunteers use to get in, the black one on the left….

image

I then go down a few steps to the bathroom area….

image

… Into the eerily quiet and empty downstairs, which contains the bathroom, the beer cellar, the kitchen and the mess rooms…

image

Turning left, I get into the scullery, which then opens out into my favourite room in Ham House….

image

The kitchen! This is where I spend all my time baking, the room I know most about and the place where I feel most comfortable, whilst working at the…

image

Beautiful and huge old table, built in the kitchen in 1610 using elm wood from an elm tree on the estate. This table is my favourite thing in the house. And probably my favourite table of all the tables I have known.

Readers, if you do not yet have a favourite table, I suggest you get onto it.

And that is my journey, once or twice a week. It’s quite nice, as it happens.

Danda and the cinema

When Danda was younger, there was a cinema club on Saturdays that the young kids could go to. They’d watch a film together in the morning and they even had their own song:

“We are the boys and girls well known as the minors of the A! B! C!
And every Saturday all line up,
To watch the films we love and shout aloud with glee!
We like to laugh and have a singsong,
Just a happy crowd are we,
We’re all pals together,
The minors of the A! B! C!”

When not engaging in this fellow cinema-goer love, Danda spent a significant portion of his childhood sneaking in to the cinema by the side door.

The stories are plenty. There was the time when their friend went to the toilet during the film and found the box with the main electrics. Inevitably, he needed to test it so he turned everything off then on again before returning to his seat and asking Danda and co if anything had happened. They said that the whole cinema had been plunged into darkness and the film had gone off. The friend thought this was the funniest thing he had ever heard so got ready to make another trip for some mischief-making.

Unfortunately for him, the first blackout had alerted the cinema staff to the presence of a group of young boys who had not paid to get in. In came one of the staff with a policeman (they were pretty unoccupied in those days) to get those naughty boys.

The naughty boys, however, had noticed the arrival of the policeman and hotfooted it out via the fire escape. Conveniently enough (some might say it had been planned ahead), a bucket of water was on hand and while closing the door behind them, the bucket was left balancing precariously on the top.

They retreated to a safe distance and watched. The policeman charged through the door, followed by the cinema staff member, both of whom got drenched as the bucket fell. The boys laughed and laughed! In the confusion which followed they ran as fast as their little legs would take them, out of the cinema and off to a good hiding place.

There was the time they got bored during the film and went for a wander and ended up on the roof of the cinema.

There was the time they sneaked in to the box and worked out how to turn the film off.

Ah, the joyful exuberance of youth!

The time I surprised my Dad

Last year, for my Dad’s birthday, I decided I would go to Liverpool to see him but I didn’t tell him. I thought it would be more fun to surprise him. For the train journey, I had some food and study books with me as I had a huge peice of work due a week later. One of them I guarded with my life. It was the Blackstone’s guide to the corporate homicide and corporate manslaughter act. Blackstone’s guides are like the be-all and end-all in the world of academic law. Everything you want to know about a law will be in one of their guides. It was a thin 170 pages and had cost me £48. But there was no way around getting one. So I had it and it was my most prized possession.

When I got to the main station in Liverpool, I clutched my Blackstone’s guide and went to buy a ticket to the stop nearest to my Dad’s house. With my ticket, I then boarded the train, went the six or so stops, then got off. As I headed out of the station, I realised my hands were empty! Where was my Blackstone’s guide?! My very expensive Blackstone’s guide? The one that I wouldn’t be able to get another copy of in time for my essay deadline.

Panicked, I raced to the ticket office and explained that it had either been left on the desk when I bought my ticket in town or on the train. Panic, PANIC! Where was it? The railway man, thankfully, dealt very efficiently with this madwoman having a panic attack in from of him.

He located it in the station in town and I asked them to keep hold of it, I would go back. The next train was in 20 minutes so I quickly ran to the house, didn’t see my dad’s car, so assumed he was at work and threw my bag down before racing back to the station. I put a pack of ham in the fridge that I hadn’t eaten on the journey. I had also made my Dad a hamper of baked goodies so put it on the sofa, in the seat behind the door where he usually sits so he would see it when he got home.

Picking the book up was fine and on the way back, I called the house to check if my Dad was home. He wasn’t so I headed straight for a friends house. I spent the evening there and got home later but my Dad still wasn’t home. Eventually I just wrote him a note and left it in the hallway and went to bed.

And here is my Dad’s version of events:

“I was upstairs on the computer when I heard a sound like the door being opened then closed. I went downstairs to see what the sound was but didn’t see anything. I popped my head into the front room but didn’t see anyone. I went to the fridge to get my sandwiches to take to work and saw a pack of ham in there which hadn’t been there before. Confused, I just got my sandwiches and went out to work, figuring there must be an explanation for it. When I got home late from work, there was a note on the floor saying Laura was home!”

That’s right. He’d been there the whole time. But because he wasn’t expecting me, he just thought he was hearing things when he heard the door open. So the whole first day I was in Liverpool, we spent missing each other, like ships passing the night. Well done, Laura!

Danda and me and Hide And Seek

So, to understand the fabulousness of this story, I need to tell you about the history of Hide And Seek in our house. For some absurd reason, whenever I hear Danda’s key jangling as he approaches the door to come home, I have to hide. I have to. It’s like a compulsion. I can’t help it. Sometimes if there’s not time for me to find a real hiding place I’ll just throw a coat over my head and crouch down in the middle of the floor. On times like these, Danda play-acts not knowing where I am, then I leap out and yell ‘Boo!’ and he asks if the joke is over now and can we please be grown ups.

But so overwhelming is this compulsion to hide, like a small child, that I have hid when I thought I heard his car arriving back. I was so sure it was him that I quickly nipped out of the back door, holding it gently closed. And I waited. I listened. I waited. And I shivered a little, for it is cold in that little section of the house, which is basically like being outside.

Inevitably, he did not come in because it was not his car I had heard.

Sometimes I am upstairs when I hear him come in so I dive under the bed. Danda often forgets about me hiding and when he sees I am not downstairs, he simply puts the kettle on and sits down to watch the news. At times like these, I have to call him to remind him. The phone call usually goes something like this:

Danda: “Hello?”
Me: “Come and find me!”
Danda: “O! I thought you’d gone down to the shop.”
Me: “….noooo. Come and find me.”

He will then come upstairs and find me and we turn back into adults and continue our evening.

Well tonight, ladies and gentlemen, tonight I excelled myself. When I heard Danda approaching the front door, I ran into the front room and looked around. I’ve done every hiding place at least twice but this evening I hid somewhere new. I squeezed a little space inbetween the computer desk and the big comfy chair and I crouched in there silently.

Danda came in, looked in the kitchen and front room and didn’t see me and, remembering my recent phone call, checked upstairs, under the beds and in the bathroom. Upon not finding me, he thought I must have popped to the shop and re-entered the front room to turn the fire on.

It was at this point, with his guard lowered and not expecting me to be home, that I chose my moment and emerged from between the furniture shouting “BOOOO!” like a madwoman. I must confess, the longer he went on without finding me, the more my excitement built. I couldn’t wait to jump out and surprise him! Hence my almost-scream of “Boo!” when I saw my moment arrive.

Danda gave a startled “Aah!” then clutched at his heart and sat down heavily on the sofa laughing and just about staving off the heart attack from shock that threatened to take hold.

It took about twenty minutes of breathlessness and sitting quietly to recover from this one.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what keeps me happy day to day. Little pockets of fun such as this. I derive immense joy from a successful hide and seek escapade and am thinking about putting it on my CV as a ‘life skill.’

Try it one day. I dare you. When you hear your nearest and dearest fumbling about at the lock with their keys, just run and hide somewhere. Anywhere will do. It doesn’t have to be especially inventive. I go through long periods of hiding in the same place every day. It doesn’t matter. It’s the potential for fun which counts.

The Laura, the Danda and the panettone

Once there were two people whose names were Laura and Danda. This story is about something that happened to them when they went away from London to Richmond Park during the afternoon because of the fabulous tea that was served daily at Pembroke Lodge.

They parked up and went for a little walk around the lodge, trying to be clever by entering from a little door that not many people knew about. It brought them to a room near the customer toilets. It was quite dusty and there was lots of furniture covered with cloths. They realised they had come in the wrong side door and, looking back towards it, saw a ‘Keep Out’ sign.

Worried, they made for the door but heard the sound of kitchen staff carrying plates, approaching the door. They panicked and looked around. There was another exit on the other side of the room.

“Quick!” said Laura.

“Just a minute,” said Danda, who was drawing a massive picture of a willy in the dust on a cupboard door. “Ok, where should we hide? In this big wardrobe?”

“No, just come through this door, Danda.”

They hurried over, opened the door… And were greeted by the sight of hundreds of panettones. Hundreds. As far as the eye could see. All flavours. Chocolate. Amaretti. Traditional.

Unwilling to share this hoard, they closed the door behind them and looked at each other in wonder.

“If only there were a cup of tea to be had,” Danda wondered aloud.

There was a jingling of bells and a tall woman approached, skipping. She had a bracelet of bells around her wrist.

“Hello strangers. And welcome to the land of Banarnia Bread. Here you shall have all the panettones you desire. But you shall never be able to eat them!” And she cackled with evil laughter and sped off.

Someone’s got to stop her, thought Laura and Danda.

Tune in tomorrow to see if Laura and Danda can beat the baddie and have their cup of tea and panettone.

The once magic washing machine

Good morning all. It’s Wednesday and time for my guest blogger to take over. Enjoy!

 

The day started as any other would. The previous night’s moon had waned; I’d missed it. The sun had risen; I’d missed that too. The alarm went off; I’d got up. I’d begun pottering about as usual pondering which of the household tasks should be top of the priority list. It quickly became apparent that tripping over the overflowing washing basket gave me a big clue!

 

Ok, so switch brain into washing mode: pick up basket, descend stairs and load into the trusty Bosch WFL2260. (Btw my second German washing machine; the first one, an AEG, lasted 14 years with a few repairs along the way. The Bosch will have done 12 years in just over a month’s time without any repairs or parts failing. The Germans definitely make very good washing machines! Their extra cost is worth it in my opinion. And just in case you’re wondering, I am not an agent for either manufacturer nor have I been paid for praising their products!). A full load of stuff went in including the double duvet cover which was turned inside out. (Remember it’s a double we’re talking about all the way through this, although you can do the same for a single.) Now you may remember LLM’s Top Tips (8.11.12) well here’s my first one to add to that list: always put your duvet covers into the washing machine inside out. (You know why don’t you? If you don’t I’ll let you into the secret later on.) The dial was set (see diag 9 in the pic below); the start button was pressed, active light came on (see diag 12 in the pic); the familiar sound of water being drawn into the machine meant I could start task no.2 – the shopping & running around on a couple of errands.

I returned to the house about an hour and a half later and as expected the “End” light (see diag 9) was illuminated. I opened the door and was somewhat surprised to see just two items in the machine which had been nearly full when I left: the duvet cover and one sock! Strange I thought, what’s happened here. Now I have to say that occasionally a sock or handkerchief will disappear but not most of the stuff I put in. Oh well I thought, I’ll retrieve what’s left first and then investigate. Of course you know what had happened – all the washing, bar one sock, had found its way inside the double duvet cover and I had to huff & puff to get the lump of damp washing out. I then had to get all the stuff out of the cover before I could put it on the maiden and then hang the cover up to dry. Ok so that sounds fair enough but then as I went to hang the duvet cover over the maiden I noticed it was right side out and the stitching side was inside as it is when it’s in normal use (with a duvet in it). Now here’s a real mystery: how had the “inside out” duvet cover turned itself “right side out” AND gobbled up all the rest of the washing bar one sock? And all in that tiny space inside the machine!

Remember one of the Five Voices from the blog on 5.9.12 was Lesley Duncan; she wrote the song Old Friends which begins with these words: “Standing there in disbelief, although you look the same…” And there I was standing in disbelief and the washing machine looked the same. I was considering “unfriending “ the machine at this point. (Having previously “unfriended” the freezer, about 2 years ago, when it stopped working and actually died 3 months outside the guarantee period I’d had some experience of what to do. More recently, I was forced to unfriend the kettle 7 days ago as it also died though only a couple of years old (but it was very cheap). One cup of tea made in the morning – fine; by lunch time just nothing, completely dead. (Usual checks found nothing.) Now, back to the w/m; I checked the 3 diagrams at the end section at the bottom of the picture called “At The End Of The Programme” and what a good job diag 3 showed me that I had to open the door before I could get the stuff out! I began singing the LD song to myself as I struggled to empty the duvet cover of its contents, without tipping them on to the floor, so I could hang them up to dry. Once done of course I had to then turn the cover inside out again so, when dry, it would be ready to put the duvet into. In case anyone is wondering why, it’s to do with how you actually get the duvet inside and into the corners of the cover if there’s only you to do the job. (With two people it’s obviously much easier doing a double duvet & cover.) Now for those of you who know this method please skip to next para and Top Tip No.2. With the cover inside out you simply put your hands into the two corners on the opposite side to the entry slit and grab the duvet corners nearest to you; then hold the corners through the cover and lift and shake so that the cover falls down over the duvet. As it falls, the inside which was showing outside when you started will now go inside if you see what I mean. If the slit is not a full side the last bits can be done by just pushing the last corners inside and into their respective places and re-shaking from there.

Now here’s Top Tip No.2 – when you put your duvet cover in the washing machine make sure all the press studs are fastened so there will be fewer items that can “disappear” inside. Now come on hands up, how many of you already do this one?

Top Tip No.3 – a bit extreme but the safest solution: fit a zip to the slit instead of press studs. Let the machine try that for size!
image

Now I couldn’t resist a couple of closing comments on the Quick Reference Instructions sheet above. The numbers correspond with the diagrams in the picture.

No.1 – A bit obvious, but very necessary. Top Tip here: Don’t leave paper tissues in pockets, they make a real mess.

No.3 – Why does underwear get to wash at 30 degrees but everything else hotter.? Surely soiled undies might have “difficult things to remove”. Think of the kids who didn’t quite make the toilet in time!

No.4 – Very handy this one: Open the door. Doh! Of course you were going to try and load the machine through the glass weren’t you?

No.6 – Close door over the black arrow which makes a “Klack” sound.

Despite these “pops” at the instructions I will say again it’s been a fantastic machine, for 12 years, but now it has attained new heights – it has really become a “Magic Washing Machine”. I have to say, apart from various items finding their way inside covers and pillow cases, it’s never done this before. However, it won’t catch me next week when I put the cover in! I’ll let it have its 7 days of fame but it won’t be magic – ever again. (That’s why the title of this blog is “The ONCE Magic Washing Machine”.) I’ve learnt my lesson. Oh and, due to its long trouble-free service, I did let it stay “friended”.