Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Tombola

Another day of lengthy phone calls, which had started to effect my stress levels by the early evening. It’s one thing standing up for your rights, but quite another when the process of doing so makes your stomach feel like a raffle ticket being spun around in a tombola. We travelled back from Shropshire, and I think I was permanently on the phone for the 200 mile trip. I spoke to very nice journalists, to more imbeciles from Haringey Council, and various Met police officers, who think the behaviour of the meat-headed bailiff merits a slap on the wrist from the law. They also believe that the council itself probably needs a little tap as well for employing these kinds of people to do their dirty work. Everyone I’ve spoken to also thinks it’s a bit weird that Haringey would use Luton County Court to do its business. Our local MP, Lynne Featherstone, has now written to the council urging them to explain themselves swiftly, thereby earning herself a million brownie points, which probably cancel out the ones she lost when she sided with the government on the issue of tuition fees.


The journalist I spoke to today was interested enough in what we had to say to immediately send a photographer round to take pictures of us standing by our car looking angry. The photographer kept telling me off for smiling, and we had to start all over again when Nathan realised his flies were undone. To make matters worse, he wasn’t wearing underwear! We were standing underneath a tree in the pouring rain for most of the shoot on account of my refusing to be photographed holding an umbrella, because the only one Nathan could find had a leopard print all over it, and was probably the campest umbrella I've ever seen. We might as well have worn a leather harness and glitter ball earings! I hope we don’t come across like a tragic, helpless and bitter pair of old queens.

I went for lunch with an old university friend, who is now pregnant from a donor egg, fertilised by her husband. They had the procedure done in Barcelona, and it went swimmingly - literally, I guess. She regaled me with the horror stories about the NHS which had led them to up-sticks and head to Spain for the process. At one point she missed a crucial operation because the nurses had stuck her in a ward and forgotten she was there. After 4 hours of patiently waiting in a hospital bed in her little green gown, whilst becoming increasingly dehydrated, she went and found a nurse who said; “I’m terribly sorry, they were calling you for surgery about three hours ago, and no one knew where you were...” I wouldn't have believed this story until I had my own similarly negligent experience at the Ear, Throat and Nose Hospital. I actually ended up feeling rather sorry for the chap sitting on the table next door, as the pair of us did nothing but whinge about society! Still, she’s incredibly excited about being pregnant, and looking forward to finding out if it’s a boy or a girl.

I can’t wait for my life to take a step back towards normality. I’ve been away from my writing for too long now, and need to get back to it so that I can legitimately take a week’s holiday in two week’s time. I’m off to Italy and am very excited.

July 19th, 1661, and Pepys summed up the previous four days. He’d been a busy bee, putting his dead Uncle’s estate in order, and setting up a network of "go-to" men who would look after things in the region when he returned to the capital. He spent the days riding from local village to local village, and the evenings walking with his father across fields. His recently widowed aunt Anne continued to behave strangely and was, in Pepys’ words full of “hypocritical tricks.” In fairness, she was probably grieving and simply attempting to guarantee that her house wouldn’t be sold from under her feet after being left to someone else.

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