Thursday, 29 January 2009

Not a good day

It is my Dad's birthday today, so after I'd done what I had to in the house, I readied myself to go off to Laugharne to deliver a birthday card.... The 205 decided to die horribly, the engine would turn over but not one solitary cylinder would fire... and this continued until the battery was too flat to turn the engine over.... JOY !!

so I re-charged the battery (2 hours) then tried again thinking maybe the engine was flooded, no joy exactly the same again, so I ripped out the HT leads and checked they all had continuity (they did) except for one the one coming off the HT coil (only THE most important one) ... so I took it out and cleaned it, closed the gap on the clamp and sprayed it with WD40 (the cure all) and low and behold the engine at least fired, eventually it started but I really am going to have to sort out the HT leads, probably get a set from Halfords... it does explain a lot actually it's been getting harder to start as the months have wore on, and I was thinking it was a carb problem.... apparently not... Anyway I was just settling down to starting the household chores as a good house husband should after my Internet fix, when Andrea comes back with shadow boy with a lump on his forehead the size of a hens egg, apparently somebody had tripped him up in the playground (it's a jungle out there tell yah). He's ok.....

Nothing much else to report except the CSA have sent me a wad of complimentary payment slips, which was nice of them to think of me, they don't seem to have registered or acknowledged that I'm unemployed and any spare money flying around is going towards the kids living with me and not two who couldn't give a flying fandango where their father is. So the CSA will have to take the back burner for the time being, no doubt as soon as I pop up on the national insurance radar they will swoop like a gannet. But until then they are the least of my worries.......

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Don't panic Mr Mannering

I had my first nights semi decent sleep last night, I only woke up once choking for breath, instead of my usual 8 or 9 times... it looks as if the antibiotics are starting to do their job.... thankfully, because I don't think I could have managed another few days of no sleep and gagging for breath. I did manage to throw a glass of juice over myself the other night, I had a coughing fit and when it stopped I was so dog tired I just rested the glass by my side thinking I'll need that in a few minutes and then promptly fell asleep, only to be woken up in a typical Lance Corporal Jones style whilst on sentry duty "them fuzzy wuzzies don't like it up em !!!".... the bodily jerk of waking up emptied the entire contents of the glass over myself, so I retired to the bean bag as the other sofa wasn't in the same comfort zone.... dripping wet (I didn't care) ....I woke up draped over the bean bag like a human sacrifice for some Inca God (yes it was a red coloured juice), arms to the side like I was in a reverse parachute free fall, all that was missing was the golden jewel encrusted sacrificial knife embedded in my chest and some bloke with wild eyes, dressed in feathers and a skirt standing over me........that was a bad night, but I was past caring at that stage, and so very tired.

The weather has improved slightly we have blue sky now and it's fairly mild out, which has to beat the torrential downpours we've had since the Siberian freeze we had a few weeks ago, where it got so cold our bore hole froze over, we don't have mains water here, we are too far out in the country, so we have a 120 metre borehole, thankfully it was only the surface pipe which froze, well I say surface pipe it was buried under the concrete and down a decent depth, but the Siberian permafrost got it and our water stopped, we ended up having to run an insulated ethylene pipe over the ground to restore our water, then of course I had to bleed the Heath Robinson water pipes that criss cross around this house like a spiders web to get the massive air locks out of the system, not good when you're feeling like death warmed up.

But hopefully it's all sunshine and smiles from now on, I've still got over 20 days of antibiotics to take, they are pretty strong ones and they upset my stomach a bit, but well worth the discomfort, I should have listened to my wife when she said "that's a nasty cough you really should go to the doctor"..... I know I should

The only other thing of note was a call from the caring CSA, checking to see if I had a job yet..... hmmmmm "The eye of Sauron" stirs in the east......

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Oh Joy is me

I've got adult whooping cough, (yes that picture is the bacterium causing my cough) which I had as a young child, I do have vague memories of being taken into a steam thickened bathroom by my mother to ease my breathing and the panic you feel when you can't breath properly. But when you have it as an adult it's different, it started about 3 weeks ago with a dry cough, I thought it was just that a cold/cough, then I had about 10 days where I felt fine, then one day I woke up from sleeping not being able to breath and what I can only describe as a claw around my chest and throat.... it was awful, I've spent the best part of two weeks sleeping on the sofa because of my constant hacking and sucking in of air and the inevitable retching and almost throwing up (too much information I know) at the end of my coughing fits, all of which doesn't lend itself to happy marital relations, especially at 2am, 3am, 4am, 5am, 6am then give up and get up with the dawn's like ground hog day every night, except worse.

Needless to say I am shattered for the rest of the day, feel completely washed out, and on top of which I think I have broken one of my floating ribs, with my over enthusiastic coughing, (common apparently in adult whooping cough) because I can feel it bump over where once it didn't when I breath, and I get the odd stabbing pain, all too reminiscent of when I broke three ribs on the way to a disastrous cave rave a few years back, well I say cave rave, it was more a bunch of people high on a hill in a natural limestone cave who drank large amounts of beer, whilst I rolled about on the floor in agony.

Anyway I've been to the doctors and they have diagnosed whooping cough or "the 100 day cough" as it's known in China, and they have loaded me up with Co-Codamol and antibiotics peculiar to the bug which causes whooping cough, lets hope it's not a long haul.....

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Fifi the cat is no more....

She was let out the day before yesterday like she normally was, she usually spent the best part of her time playing in the garden or walking up and down the fence ready to pounce on some unfortunate mouse... she had already butchered a few and was becoming quite the rodent serial killer, but the other night she came home and wasn't in a very good way at all, her back legs were weak and she looked like she had been drugged and her ears were cold, she had no physical damage except for one claw that had been frayed and her collar was missing, we assumed another cat had "jumped" her so we put her in front of the fire to warm her up, she was obviously in shock, but the next morning there was no improvement.

So Andrea took her to the vets, they decided to keep her in and initially the vets thought she had been poisoned, they x-rayed her but found nothing broken... but then she started to go downhill so they opened her up, and it was then that they found that she had massive internal damage akin to either being kicked or run over.... it wasn't long after that that they put her to sleep, and today out of curiosity I wandered onto the road and found her collar.... it kind of confirmed what happened, how she managed to crawl back to the house is beyond me.... :(

Anyway she has been buried now at the front of the house, shadow boy wanted her buried under the tree she liked so much, but after putting the shovel down and realising that it would be impossible because of the root system, I moved her to the corner of the garden, she now has a large slate slab over her grave as we have quite a few fox's around this area, I'll sink it into the lawn in the spring.....

Now I've never been a fan of having a cat, I made my views on cat ownership quite clear, and we only got the cat because shadow boy promised he would look after it..... well that initial zeal faded after a few weeks when he realised feeding and cleaning up after a kitten wasn't all cute and fluffy and he disowned it, which I have to say annoyed me intensely, I've never really liked cats, they do what they want, it's a bugger to house train them...... and to be quite honest I was getting to the end of my tether with Fifi leaving various "presents" around the house, but I have to say she didn't deserve to go the way she did.... so mixed feelings here, sad she has died as death wasn't in my final solution for her I was thinking more rehoming, but also glad in that nobody seemed to be bothered about the mess she made, well not the kids anyway it was usually left to Andrea to clean up after her, as I refused point blank, not out of being awkward or pig headed, but a deal had been struck and that had been broken, and I will refuse to fill in on somebody elses responsibilities. I think it's safe to say we will not be having a cat again.

Friday, 2 January 2009

I had an interview !!

but first off I'd like to wish all my readers of my drivel a happy new year and a prosperous one :)

Yes it happened !!! I actually got an interview, it was on new years eve..... albeit an informal one, initially they refused me in email saying I was over qualified, but I threw an email back stating how hard it was getting a job in the locality and that I had four kids to feed and clothe... and by George it worked !!! it's not much but it will pay the rent should I get it and we will have a little to spare, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed, interestingly they also run a maintenance and construction firm and their main customer is Trinity College in Carmarthen, so if I get the job I may well be up there fixing plumbing or electrics & windows and generally keeping things oiled and working well... but it's early days yet and I don't even know if I have the job, but if I do it will be a huge load off us financially...... anyway the interview seemed to go well, so fingers crossed !!!

Meanwhile I'll keep plugging away at the job sites seeing if anything suitable crops up.

New years eve was pretty uneventful, we just sat on the sofa and watched "Superman Returns" which I had recorded earlier on the DVR, then at about ten to midnight we turned it off and waited for the bong of Big Ben..... a bit of a damp squib of a new year, but at least we weren't nursing banging headaches the next morning.

The sullen one sent us a text from Austria, apparently she is/was having a blast, she is travelling back on the coach now.... it's only 28 hours journey ... a mere snip, I think overall she has enjoyed her Austrian skiing trip.

And I've just finished a book one of my Christmas presents :) it's called "Beyond Band of Brothers" by Richard D Winters, for those of you who followed the HBO mini series "Band of Brothers" it basically tells the story from Dick Winters side, and gives an insight into what drove the man to succeed as he did, it fills in an amazing amount of detail that was missing from the mini series, but I should imagine if they put all the stories in then it would have been unmanagable, sadly most of the men from Easy Company you see giving anecdotes and stories at the beginning of each episode have passed away now, but at least they got their story told, the battle of the bulge fought in and around Bastogne was particularly chilling and makes you wonder how so few men managed to hold off an advance when facing so many of the enemy, and the ludricrous situation of not knowing where their lines were and neither did the Germans and it was common place for enemy to wander into their lines and be captured, it really punches home how really awful that place was, and bitterly cold to boot ..... sobering reading and if that kind of thing interests you I thoroughly recommend it :)

Addendum.... I didn't get the job I've just checked my emails and I was in the final three out of 27 applicants, but somebody who had more specific experience in their line of business (totally un-IT related I might add) pipped me to the post :( ahhhhh well .... back to the drawing board