Saturday, 20 September 2014

Flying Solo

Taxing times at Hedges Towers. As some of you know, BH is off on his Annual Italian Jaunt, visiting lovely places, eating lovely food and indulging in the twin cultural pursuits of opera and football. Oh, and a further visit to the Maserati factory in Modena, just in case this year, they might be giving away free samples.

I did seriously think about joining him for a week, despite my known travel phobia, but then I fell foul of the Passport Office, who wanted to charge me an inordinate amount of money to renew my passport and have now refused to send back my old one plus the photos I paid for. So I am confined to the Kingdom of Westfield (population: 2) - if you remember, we seceded from the rest of Harpenden in a defiant gesture against what we see as a ruthless and totalitarian regime.

I could, of course, issue my own passport, but the printer is playing up (see below). However, I may start opening diplomatic negotiations with Scotland, should the Yes vote win the day on Thursday. I am happy to offer the newly refurbished shed as a Caledonian Consulate and I'm sure, once we have our flag and anthem worked out, we we can all come to some mutually amicable trade arrangement.

Be that as it may, the usual Things That Go Wrong thing has kicked in. Keys have walked. My mobile phone vanished for 24 hours. The 2CV has had carburettor problems, which Big Dave assures me have been 95% sorted. The 5% is waking me up at night though. Along with everything else. This always happens whenever I fly solo: I am wide awake at 2 am, over-thinking and focusing obsessively on stuff. It's a form of Attention Surplus Hyperactivity Disorder, thought after a week of broken nights, it all feels more like one slice of a madness sandwich.

Were this not enough, I am also being re-awoken 4 hours later by the Astonishment of Kitten, whose arrival is heralded by crashes, squawks and the thunder of tiny paws. It is pretty well impossible to be cross with a kitten, but one jumping ecstatically on you at 6 am could prove the exception to the rule. If I could only train her to make and bring up a mug of coffee, she'd be slightly more welcome.

Meanwhile paperwork piles up, disasters rain down, the grass continues to grow and I get increasingly irate with Classic FM presenters: It's anTITHesis, for goodness sake - any alternative proNUNciation is totally abHORrent. Ah, the joys of flying solo.


17 comments:

  1. I always find that when I dwell on a Things Going Wrong situation too much I attract more of the same! I've taught myself to change my thinking and find the positives, but then I've been flying solo for over ten years so I've had plenty of time to adjust!

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  2. Thanks Shelley, and yes, I am aware that my paltry 2 weeks pales into insignificance compared with what others successfully navigate through. I am agog with admiration!

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  3. Well, your anxiety order (in your case it couldn't be 'dis') has no effect on your brilliant penmanship (or should I say typingship), CarolStar. A wonderful post! I am sad the passport office prevented your possible visit to my floating world, but maybe it's fortuitous this time as despite all my efforts, nothing is ready for visitors on board. Yesterday, I had to save an exchange student my daughter brought round from landing feet first in wet floor paint! As to your wakeful nights, I wonder which is worse, the overthinking of problems or the turbulent dreams that might have resulted if you actually slept. Or maybe you have both? Consider yourself hugged and thank goodness for the kitten! Bless her! XX

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    1. Thanks Val - next year in Rotterdam...I shall make the effort...

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  4. Easy for me to say 'Embrace Solohood?' I had it thrust upon me, and certainly wouldn't have chosen it. But the real upside - you get your own way, all the time (except when Things, like machines, go wrong - but hey ho, they are only machines.) You can have lengthy discussions with yourself and you are always right. You listen to your stuff, you watch your stuff, you read without anyone interrupting and wanting something.

    And if the morning cuppa is an issue, invest in a small kettle and take everything up to your room the night before, and then you barely need to get out of bed to make that tea.

    Hope things are back to your normal soon.

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    1. You are an inspiration..... in that you travel alone to amazing parts of the world. I find it a struggle to get to St Albans!

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  5. I adore Italy and would have definitely put puss in a crèche 2 cv in the workshop and vamooshed. Well if you had we wouldn't be giggling over our egg on toast or leaving you messages. P.s. six is the best time to be woken...

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    1. thanks E...it was nearer 5 this morning!

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  6. ...when I lived in Harpenden 35 years ago. I had already offered our back garden as a suitable location for the Caledonian Embassy... they knocked me back then,,, now look what it;’s led to ... marginal missing out on the Indie vote... I coulda been a passport printer contenda...:)

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    1. I keep forgetting we have this local connection! As the No camp won, I am going to have to reconsider my option...have already suggested Council should twin with North Korea. Didn't go down well. Can't think why.

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  7. Totes hilarious, CJ! I've actually heard a couple of presenters on the BBC say 'deteriate', though the one that really gets me is PROtest, when used as a verb. You make a PROtest, but you proTEST, morons.

    One of your best. Every paragraph made me laugh. Now THIS is how to do the 'tales from our house' type blog - unlike some cringe-worthy imitations!

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    1. Thanks TT. Out of adversity comes hilarity. Which is probably the best way to view it.

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  8. Yes Carol if something is going to go wrong it will happen when you're on your own. My dog doesn't like hubby being away and wanders the house during the night making noise, then he wants out when it's pitch black outside. You just have to renew your passport I know it costs a small fortune but you are missing so much. What if your daughter wants to go abroad for a holiday with your granddaughter and asks you to join them? You wouldn't want to miss out. Do It!

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  9. Always does. My father, brother, sister and I have some of our best communal laughs over mum's Alzheimer behaviour.

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  10. Flying Solo is never easy when you're used to riding a tandem bike! All I will say is that your statement that starts "I am wide awake at 2 am..." is from The Carpenter's song but the next bit ain't right because it goes "...without a friend in sight..." Wrong! You've got all of us and we're your friends - cheesy but true! x

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  11. Your post had me in such fits of laughter, Carol, unfortunately there's not much room left for sympathy. I'm not Scottish, but I do live in Scotland, and also have a shed. Maybe we could come to some reciprocal arrangement between your kingdom and my sovereign territory? The shed, however, does need cleaning, so I'm off down the supermarket looking for the sign that says, 'Men on sale - 20% off'.

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