for weeks now. I am so tired of them. Wah-wah-wah. And I don't mean the sound of a trumpet. The only respite is getting out into the garden and working, when it's neither too wet, cold or hot. At the moment it's too hot. I know, I know, I am wailing about the changeable UK weather when other places are burning, sizzling or drowning. But then I freely admit that I am a whingeing Minnie, forever complaining. Luckily there's no one to hear me. On the other hand, if there were someone maybe I wouldn't complain so much. Part of the problem is that it's me who has to catch all the brickbats single-handedly and there's never anybody to share in finding solutions.
About those brickbats: they are draining me of every drop of pleasure in life. As if Covid alone wouldn't be enough to do that. You know about the leaking and rotting shower room. The third or fourth delegation has been to assess the damage, take endless pictures and do a bit of umming and ahing. Finally, the last chap from the actual people who do the work came and left me a lot of paperwork to fill in regarding the materials I want to be used, the colour of paint, which tiles, the whole palaver. When I threw myself on his mercy and asked him to just look at everything and replace it with similar or identical he made the job'sworth noises. "We can't do that", he said, "we need you to specify exactly what you want, within the cost limits, of course. We only get paid once for every job and if you change your mind when the job is finished we don't get paid again." Well, blow me down with a feather, there was I thinking I could go on and on demanding a change of paint or tiles as the fancy takes me. NOT.
I know nothing of such matters, those of you who do will ask yourselves why is this woman moaning, she should be glad she has got her Insurance Company to take over the repairs. Maybe so but I DON'T WANT THE HASSLE.
Next I had a letter from my energy provider. "We are ever so pleased to be able to tell you that we have gone all efficient and up-to-date and sold out to XXX, who will be happy to accept you as their customer. All you need to do is rearrange everything, get a new Direct Debit going, and make plans for your future energy consumption. The sensible thing for me to do is look carefully at the paperwork, compare prices and conditions with other providers and make a decision. DO I WANT THE HASSLE? Of course not.
Next thing I dropped and shattered my phone. Again, a minor problem you might say. My contract had run out and all I needed to do was spend a morning on the phone and get a new phone and contract. The sensible thing to do was to look carefully at the paperwork, investigate and compare prices. MORE HASSLE. I want things to STAY THE SAME!
I am all Apple computerised. Yes, I know they are expensive, but the gadgets last and there's rarely any trouble. And if there is trouble I have this lovely man in the next village who is a whizz at all things Apple and has always seen me right. In the past. My iPad was slowing down seriously - it is old in years, like its owner -, the new phone needed tweaking and my desktop, which is also very old, could really do with a sort-out too. Besides, I had the distinct impression that my backup disc had given up the ghost when I last updated the desktop. I rang the lovely man's office. HE HAS RETIRED! With some trepidation I asked was there a replacement Apple specialist? Don't forget I live in the depths of the countryside and specialists for anything are few and far between. "Well, not exactly a specialist but yes, someone would come and look at my gadgets". The phone lady also said that the replacement technician was rather slow in replying and I had better be patient. The man eventually came, a real computer nerd, who said little, smiled less, sat at my desktop with phone and iPad also in front of him and fiddled. And fiddled. And fiddled some more, for several hours. I foresaw a bill of several hundred Pounds but, contrary to my inclination and habit, said nothing. Nerds must be treated with kid gloves, their social skills are not instantly evident, and I needed the man, and practised patience. I am not at all sure how good he was, there have been a few glitches since he was here and I decided to buy a new iPad because the old one slowed down even more after his ministrations. Suffice to say that he walked off with my external hard-drive (Backup), found it to be dead, and returned with a new one a week or two later. His bill was very reasonable for all the hours he spent on my gadgets - do nerds not need food? The new iPad arrived; just to be on the safe side I set it up myself.
You may think that I have come to the end of my brickbats, but no, there's more. You all know about Brexit, the most pointless, masochistic ambition this country has ever gone in for. You may also know that I am one of the EU nationals "who shouldn't be here anymore, having had the gall to come, take over "our jobs", live off social security, never pay taxes, and should all be sent back to where they come from". Etc. etc. June 30th the period for applying for resident status came to an end and, as I had applied a long time ago and been accepted I thought that was that. BUT I HAVE NO PROOF! None of us "bloody foreigners" has proof. There is no mechanism for proof! What larks there'll be when we want to use the NHS or, God forbid, go travelling!
And, to cap it all, the Fatherland, which sends me a small amount of pension every month, has had second thoughts as to my actual existence. How do you prove that you are alive?