To recap: for roughly the whole of 2012 (as such) I have been Waiting! for Things! to Happen!
Firstly, I’ve been waiting for a new flatmate to replace the Tweedles (for extra bonus tension: if I score one, I can afford a place on the more advanced blacksmithing course in June. Which is coming up fast, and only has three places left!) So far, this has panned out much like it did for the Lady of Shalot.
At the same time, and interspersed with the regular “Here Comes A Viewer!… sucker!” drill, (which ironically enough has possibly lead to more housework than I had to do for the Tweedles), I’ve been waiting for the DIY to be over so I can get back to the art and the martial arts. So far, this is panning out much like that guy’s quest to fix the hole in his bucket in that old song. (Just to ruin the punchline for everyone of the generation below me, it turns out that to accomplish the task, he needs a bucket of water. And this is why my attempts to be a one-woman civilisation-starter-from-scratch are doomed. Not because I am crap, oh no!).
To while away the time in waiting for all this – and I should mention, this is not the ‘sew, sing, pine’ princess-style of waiting, this is more ‘run round like a mad-haired lunatic, covered in bits of wallpaper, throwing panic-money at things’ style of waiting – I’ve been waiting with interest to see if I crack up under the Not-actually-reduced-at-all workload that cracked me up in the summer. Or rather, I was, but this has been replaced with the far more tension-ridden, Waiting-to-see-if-I-get-moved-to-an-even-huger-workload-somewhere-away-from-my-beloved-team-of-colleagues. (A bus-pass costs what, you say? Corks, I need to get this bicycle fixed. And also, start a pool on how long it takes before I get run over, so I might at least make some cash from the inevitable.)
So, not really what I had hoped for from this year, but it beats the shit out of Having The Hammer Actually Fall, what!
On the plus side, I am now also Waiting To Have My Teeth Removed! Well, since I’ve been waiting for that for my entire adult life: Waiting To Have My Teeth Removed With The Prospect of That Actually Happening! I am ever so excited! [Remember the golden rule: the more excited you are about a particular event, the crappier that event will pan out to be – Ed]
The Actual Point of the Story – I Can Has Greenhouse!
I was really overjoyed, therefore, when A Thing, And Not A Bad Thing, actually happened! Lo, I have not only purchased a second-hand greenhouse at a bargain-basement price, but found a van to pick it up and everything, and gotten permission to put it up at the Allittlement. Hurrah! (See, this is what happens when you get old; this sort of thing is now Exciting. Also see under, getting your teeth out.)
Me and the Bossman drove over to get the greenhouse, which it is worth remembering I forked out cash for sight unseen, last Saturday, when the weather was unfeasibly sunny. I was laughing out loud the whole way, so hilarious is the part where I lose both the parts of my job that I was happy with (do NOT count your blessings, ever), erm, I mean, so happy was I with the prospect of spending many a hilarious hour taking approximately two thousand screws out of it with the help of the previous owner. Who I was about to meet for the first time, because my Colleague of Cakes brokered this whole deal at work, possibly breaking the law in the process, who knows.
Several things became apparent from the get-go: 1. I do not know precisely how to get to my Colleague of Cake’s house, despite having been there a number of times; 2. The Bossman does notice little slips like this, and promises to hold them against me for many happy years to come; 3. Out of the massive box of tools I had thoughtfully brought to help take it apart, not one was suitable; 4. If that greenhouse is ‘six by four’ as my Colleague of Cakes told me, she is the only person in the world who still works in cubits. Hmm. Not going to fit nicely out of sight of the neighbours behind my shed, then. (This is an important Plot point for later, no pun intended).
Also, 5. Strange men apparently have no qualms about, within minutes of meeting him, putting their hands in the pockets of the Bossman’s jeans*. (The Bossman assured me this is a Builder thing, but I remain unconvinced. He might be In, There.)
But! we got the greenhouse, plus freebies of a big metal table, a big plastic frame not unlike that of the plastic growhouses that bit the dust in The Unnamed Wind Before Hurricane Bawbag, and several tonnes of paving slabs. The big, chunky kind they used in days of Yore, back men were apparently Real Men, or so said the guy who had his hands in the Bossman’s pockets, who claims he had a mate who was a Real Man and could carry one under each arm. (It took two of us to carry one. The Bossman did briefly carry one in both arms, but he started swaying and I was alarmed he was going to need a trip to A&E).
*(Yeah, so he had an excuse. Honest).
There was barely time after barrowing all this across the Allittlement, trapping my thumb painfully in an angle of geometry between the paving stones, which behaved in a mysterious way at odds with the laws of physics when it fell upwards onto me*, returning the van, getting lost in Tradeston three times in a row, getting showered, getting dinner on and getting the flat tidied up before my Colleague of Skull Scarves brought the Husband of Kit Cars over for drinks. Good god, I could hardly move by that point, let alone make intelligent conversation.
The instant I left the room, I heard the Bossman describing how mince my navigation skills are. Le sigh.
*(If you will park your paving stones at wierd angles, Cthulhu will come out and get you. This may also explain Tradeston, where you can approach the motorway from a number of directions and still get signposted away from it at the last minute every single time.)
However! A successful day, and even with the cost of the van, the greenhouse is still a bargain, and now I just have to get it up, right?
At which point a missive came in from the Powers In Charge of the Allittlement, saying that, due to some sort of spat with various neighbours of allotments across Glasgow*, no more sheds. Or greenhouses. Or anything of that nature, without some sort of Investigation from even higher up Powers in the Council. Apparently, everyone is Broke, so there is an unprecedented clamour of people wanting allotments (possibly so they can have somewhere to go that is a) out of the house and b) out of the rain without having to spend any money). This is causing a massive waiting list, and the council are vocally welcoming this sudden interest in
fighting a losing battle against getting down with Nature and are doing everything in their power to bring that waiting list down. (And what, she says with the jaundiced eye and cynical sneer of one who has been told that the big reshuffle at work is aimed at cutting costs by making 25% of the staff sod off in disgust, could be cheaper and easier than making sure people don’t want an allotment any more? Because the council is Broke too!)
*(Apparently, allotments look like shanty towns, so although everyone wants one, nobody wants one near them. Well, yes, admittedly in winter all is just a collection of rectangles of earth covered in black plastic and unused flower pots, but in Scotland, winter = night all day except on your lunchbreak, so it’s not like anyone can tell? Come high summer, however, it’s weeds as high as your eye! What’s not to love? Plus, one upside of having an allotment near you is that, from the comfort and privacy of your own home, you can watch someone, possibly me, hacking away futilely at a bed of buttercups and intermittently clawing in agony at their lower back. Bonus points for when they get caught on the thorns in their own bramble, which happens to me whenever I go within three feet of it. Get the kettle on for cut-price vicarious hilarity!)
So, short version, I cannot has greenhouse. Probably. Hot damn!
Points of note: 1. Not looking so much of a bargain now, is it? 2. Looking a right mess, it is, sitting in the middle of the Allittlement in a big pile with a tarp over it. Hee, the joke is on all of us.
With that fiasco out of the way, it was time to get the flat sorted out for folkies coming round! For I has finally finished doing up the spare room, and it is time to get the new photies up on the internet. (To make myself feel better, for morale is about as low as my energy levels, photos are appended at the end). And behold, lots of people contacted me to say, ‘I am desperate to get out of the house as I am staying with relatives [oh how a shed on an allotment might help!], please can I come round at your earliest inconvenience to see the place?’
I am paraphrasing here, of course; the word ‘desperate’ did crop up a number of times, but the word ‘please’ did not. And with no-shows two days in a row, during which I missed some unfeasibly good weather I coulda used for tidying up the Allittlement ahead of my begging letter to the council, I was not getting much done this week. In fact, by Thursday all I had achieved was getting a massive bag of curtains down the charity shop, so I was ready to knuckle down and actually do some Sums.
Where the feck are the Sums? The last time I saw them, it was Saturday and I was having folks over for drinks after moving that sodding greenhouse all day, and I had put them out of the way, on top of a big pile of curtains to go to the charity shop and OH GOD NO.
Mercifully, I had left them at work. ‘I mean, they’re in a purple spangly folder almost exactly the shade of that jumper you’re wearing,’ I was saying to my Cellmate. ‘You can’t miss it! It is, in fact, exactly the colour of that folder there- ah, sods.’
And lo, it was Friday and I actually had a text inviting me to the pub, but I could not go, I had to go home and prepare for a viewing, and then sod directly off to Edinburgh to
spend a leisurely weekend in bed with the Bossman do sums like a bastard while he coded frantically at the other side of the room. As I left work, I got a call to say, could they move the time forward by an hour. Rats. Do not pass LIDL, do not pick up groceries, go directly to flat and tidy up like greased lightning! (Given that this is now the third day in a row I have gone directly to the flat to tidy up like lightning, and have then failed to get anything else done at all, why there is still anything left to tidy up is just one of life’s mysteries, I suppose.)
At half past the time they were due to arrive, I got a call saying, they were nearly there but actually they couldn’t be bothered and were sodding off back to Lothian instead.
Proceed directly to pub.