2 October 2009 (Friday) - A Day Off Work

Another day off work, and this time I was up and out of the house by 8.30am for a quick shopping trip. I have this plan to have a paved circle in the front garden. B&Q didn’t have anything. The Builder’s Centre had a large one on display, but the staff weren’t overly helpful. When I asked questions I was rather rudely given a catalogue and told to look up “Indian Sandstone”. When I commented that they didn’t have one in the size I wanted, they told me that the things only come in one size. Which turned out not to be the case. Wyevale had no paving circles, and precious little of anything else. There was so little stuff there that the place looked as though it was having a closing down sale. Bybrook Barn had exactly what I wanted. (They also had all their Xmas stuff on display but that is a rant for another time).

Now I just need to talk the family into wanting a paving circle in the front garden, and into helping me lay the thing. I suppose I could just put the slabs on the front garden, but I would imagine they would be far better cemented in place.

In years gone by I wouldn’t have bothered with a shopping trip. I would have bought the paving circle from eBay. eBay has the same one that Bybrook Barn has for sale, but over a hundred pounds more expensive. In the week I saw the complete Battlestar Galactica DVD set in Asda. Today I saw the same thing on eBay for twenty quid more. eBay isn’t the bargain it once was.

And then home to mow the lawn – something I’ve not done for a couple of weeks. The fences in the back garden look as though they could do with a lick of fence spray. I must admit to a wry smile. The fence panels are rather bare in patches. I painted them only six months ago. And they had a coat of paint a year before that. The paint tin claims it’s good for five years between applications. Perhaps I could kick up a fuss with the manufacturer. I would if I felt it might achieve anything. And then I realised the composting bin was getting full, so I took it (and some rubbish) to the tip. Bearing in mind the fun and games I’ve had with retards at the tip before, today’s visit was relatively painless.

Rat Man” visited this afternoon. He had a look up and down the garden and saw that the poison I’d put down two weeks ago still hadn’t been touched. He said that the poison being put down next door had been taken, and that if we did have any rats about the place, they’d be getting their poison there. I told him that I didn’t doubt there were rats; it was just that I hadn’t actually seen any. He had a look at my ultra-sonics and at Dave the plastic owl, and said he didn’t think he needed to do anything more rat-wise in the garden. He also said that the pond was fine, and that it wasn’t a rat attractor, which was a weight off my mind.

And then I took the car to be valeted. The thing was rather filled up with dead grass from the summer’s camping trips, and I’ve not got round to getting it cleaned out. I went to a place in Ellingham that advertised “Best hand job in town”. I’ve had better, but they are streets ahead of the blokes in Tesco’s car park. I got the car washed, tyres scrubbed, windows cleaned inside and out, and the thing hoovered throughout for a tenner. I did chuckle when I realised that the place is festooned with Union Jacks, and advertises itself as “The Great British Car Wash” but everyone there is Polish. But they did an excellent job. And with the car scrubbed out I put the car’s back seats where they should be. Namely in the car and not behind the sofa in the living room.

And then to Facebook. I spend far too much time on Facebook these days. It is really stupid. It has these silly applications “How much are you worth?”. So you answer some silly questions and a random number generator plucks a figure out of thin air. You publish this random number on your generator, and within ten minutes you’ll find that half a dozen of your mates have done the same quiz. And you gloat about those who are worth less than you, and sulk about those who are worth more.

And then you do quizzes such as “Which Jungle Animal Will Eat You?” And you keep pressing the refresh button to see how long it takes for your friends to cotton on to the fact that you’ve just done it, and to see which jungle animal will eat them. I suppose it keeps us off the streets…

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