Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Crackin' Up!

Sometimes I can’t believe how life has the capacity to so ruthlessly and continually kick you in the balls!  As we took our car away from the garage (after paying £1,000 to have a fist full of “necessary” repairs, which weren’t necessary 2 months previously when the car was serviced) a warning light started flashing on the dash-board. A little bit of research revealed that it was something to do with the power steering, so we took it back to the garage and asked what was wrong. A day later (today) they called Nathan to say that some kind of cord had snapped in the steering system and that the fault was going to be “expensive to remedy.” Worse than this, they don’t seem to want to take responsibility for the problem, despite the fact that they’d done work on the steering mechanism as part of the MOT. Surely, we’re not a million miles off the mark by suggesting that the fault was caused by something that the garage did? After all, we’d never seen this warning light before...

Nathan has finally snapped and was inconsolable on the phone. I simply don’t know what to do. We don’t have any more financial reserves to pay the garage for this new problem and absolutely can’t afford to get involved in a second court case - not just because the experience almost killed us, but because I simply do not trust the legal system any more. It is very rare for Nathan to disintegrate, and a part of me dies every time this happens.

We will get through this period. We absolutely will, because we have to. One day I’ll find a carrot or potato growing through the cracks in our patio and scream, “as God is my witness, I shall never go hungry again...” Sometimes it helps to imagine myself as Scarlet O’Hara!

I had a meeting with a really lovely woman at the MU today. We’re looking into the contractual side of composing to see if we can create a set of guidelines that might better protect creative people in the future; danger -words to look out for, phrases that might need explaining within the contract itself, formalisation of deadlines and timescales, removal of woolly phrases. They’ve spoken to me about joining the writers’ committee, which I’d be honoured to do. I’m now convinced that something positive will come from this period. We just need to keep trudging forward... It’s the first day of autumn today. I love autumn. It fills me with optimism.

As I write this, a poor woman on Deal or No Deal is going through the ringer, slowly moving closer and closer to leaving the game with just ten pence in her pocket. Somehow, I know how she feels. I think there are people all over this country who know how she feels.

 September 21st, 1661, and Pepys had a pleasurable morning with Elizabeth and his father walking around the garden of their country house in Brampton. They talked about the alterations they wanted. It seems that 17th Century folk spent their lives altering houses! I guess there were countless innovations concerning lighting and chimneys and windows, of which the upwardly mobile needed to keep abreast. As if to prove my point, Pepys spent the afternoon at Hinchinbrook House – Lord Sandwich’s impressive country estate – to see for himself the alterations that were happening whilst the big cheese was in Spain, and the rest of his clan were staying at the Wardrobe in London. The house was still in a bit of a mess – and Pepys was worried that the cloistered area (which sounds terribly grand) was going to be too dark...

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