Ghost in the shower

We didn’t put two and two together when, five months ago, our shower room was flooded due to someone plugging in the sink plughole and turning on the taps in the wee hours of the night. We blamed each other. Everyone shouted and swore innocence, and no one believed any of the other two. Of course, we didn’t have a clue that it was the Ghost.

A couple of nights ago the Ghost returned to haunt the shower room. It clearly has a huge problem with that particular room in the house. This time, he (or she) turned considerably more violent and punched the shower door. It was 3am when glass shattered and spluttered to the floor, sending us all into a state of panic.

Clever Ghost, managed to utterly annihilate one glass wall but left the parallel shower door intact.

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That experience was marginally more unnerving that the flood, but again we blamed unspecified vibrations and an old house inadequacies on this unfortunate development. So the following night the Ghost attempted to paint the bathroom door white. He (or she) didn’t do a half-decent job of it so we washed the paint off.

Now, I’m not one for believing in ghosts, especially if they choose my home for their antics, but the damage to the property is a touch too much! How on earth are we going to explain this ghostly invasion to our Insurer?

Did I mention that our home is located in the middle of a lovely and, until now, peaceful graveyard?

Oh, I do love to be beside the seaside!

Went to Burnham-on-sea to recharge the batteries because, let me tell you, I’m hardly a Duracell-man (or -woman, as the case may be). My batteries had been running low for a while, especially after a few near-lethal short circuits experienced this year.

So we went paddling by the boats –

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Head-butting the goats –

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Sitting on a fence –

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Losing common sense –

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Being swept away –

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Calling it a day –

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Be my rock, a trip to Cornwall

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This is what I needed – Cornwall. I didn’t know that at the time of our departure. We had been offered this trip as part of some promotional programme, and I thought it was too good to be true. At first it seemed I was right – we were stuck in snail-paced traffic, desperate for a wee and envious of road-side kill (at least they didn’t care any more!).

Then there was the tortuous seminar, sweetened by an offering of high tea accompanied by a highly entertaining persona of a chap called Derek. The least we could do was to smile politely and listen (some of us did, others were still dying for a wee; too much high tea, you see.)

But it was all worth it! I’d gone there feeling low (for reasons of my own you don’t want to know), and re-evaluating my purpose in life; I came back feeling… alive in the very least. I found peace, fresh breeze, a horizon to drown myself in, and even a rocky companion that went exceptionally well with my t-shirt cacti.

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We’re good friends, the rock and I (and my t-shirt cacti).

Four days later, we had to be separated and it was time to face the real world, traffic, road-side kill and existential musings all inclusive. We waved goodbye to Cornwall. For those in the know I found Cornwall strikingly similar to New Zealand and French Brittany. Such a small world we live in – I fail to understand why some of us wish to slash it into yet smaller pieces and put barbwire fences between us, but I don’t want my musings to get in the way of universal beauty, so here is more of the good thing:

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Caving in

P1060123We went to Ambleside and ended up in a cave – it was much closer and my little feet wouldn’t carry my heavy bottom any further. Rydel Cave isn’t any odd hole in the ground – it’s huge and vibrating with echo made by water plopping from the ceiling. One thing on my mind: would it cave in when I was there; that’s what caves do, they cave in; that’s why they’re called caves. So I was slightly apprehensive and very respectful of the old cave.

On our way to the cave we came upon a couple of very rude hissing swans. They were either hissing or telling us outright to “Pissss off!”. I couldn’t quite make out which.

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Washed up in Grasmere

We’re taking a break from unpacking our new house, so we packed our suitcases (for a change) and travelled to Grasmere. We should’ve taken a boat rather than a car – the bouts of rain and unbridled wind created perfect sailing conditions on the road. To add to the atmosphere, lorries and vans beyond Birmingham stopped using indicators when changing lanes, so it was like a bloody Mexican wave on the motorway. I’m still seasick!

Anyway, we are here.

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New home, but I’m still standing

House moved! From the outside – picture perfect. Just take a look at it. Okay, not all of it belongs to us, but we belong to all of it.

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The views are to die for, too. Daughter’s bedroom overlooks charming little paddocks housing two frisky ponies (believe me – they are frisky and shameless!), two sheep (both staring into space with a spark of deep thought in their sheepish eyes) and other creatures large and small.

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Our bedroom overlooks a tree in our small garden where blue tits, robins and one extremely fat pigeon compete for seeds. Law of the jungle out there, but the blue tits rule supreme, maybe because the obese pigeon finds it hard to take off so has to content with the crumbs that fall from the bird feeder above.

P1060100The house has plenty of character – I would even go as far as saying that it isn’t only character it has – it’s ATTITUDE. Yes, the house has a serious attitude problem. To start with, it has a small population of woodlice who climb in through the vines outside and into our bathroom, wherefrom they spread like wild fire until they are captured. Once captured they instantly fall on their back, belly up, and play dead (or perhaps they are really dead). They get hoovered. Probably there is a whole woodlice colony inside our hoover.

We’ve also experienced out first flood, courtesy of Daughter who left the weird tap in her bathroom dripping until it conquered the sink, water overcoming it, spilling to the floor and travelling to the landing. From there it was re-directed to the kitchen below and trickled down the wall merrily. Awaken by the watery humming, which gave my bladder an illusion of being full, I discovered the Great Flood and raised alarm. So that’s just for starters.

There is hope however. If I remember correctly, after the Great Flood came peace and prosperity for Man. Okay, I can’t remember that far back but I read it somewhere.

My Mexican stand-offs with Wildlife

I think all creatures large and small on my way to work have a death wish. I’ve run into dozens of suicidal badgers, pheasants and rabbits. One pheasant, I’m sure of it, just sits by the side of the road, behind a derelict old bridge, and waits for me. When he sees me approach he ventures right under my wheels, his head and tail down, his gait measured. He refuses to take off and fly away – just crosses the road without a zebra (crossing) in sight.

A couple of black birds have it for me, too. It looks like a game of Russian roulette to me as they glide inches in front of my windscreen, trying my patience.

I won’t mention the badger who really should consider a dieting regime. He couldn’t outrun a snail and yet he takes me on – me in my car, he on his four legs, waddling along.

Moving on to the rabbits – frankly, they’re just taking the piss and I won’t be held to account if one day one of them just slips and is sucked under my fender. They hop mindlessly without any regard for road safety. On their heads be it!

But the trophy goes to that hapless deer (with no antlers). He just strolls in front of the car and stands there, gazing me in the eye evenly, not a care in the world! Once the three of us stood there in the middle of the road, wondering who would make the first move: the deer, me and the guy driving a tractor on the other side of the road. The deer won.

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