CHAOSTOCOSMOS

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Domestic Darkness & Damnation ...

Yesterday, the light in the kitchen ceiling went. Well, the second half of it: the other half burnt out about 8 years ago and was never fixed. I can't reach it, even with a ladder, so that reduces me to groping around with a torch. It's raining hard this evening and the roof is leaking again. F*ck it!

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Mummy's Boy on Mother's Day


Balu in a box

Mother's Day here in Spain was last week. In the UK it was in March, but today, Balu has been constantly hanging around either of his "mummies" (me or the dog) for love; for reassurance. That furball has idolized his dog, ever since she picked him out of the box when he was a mere 4 inch long scrap of kitten, seven years ago, laid him on the floor and washed him from arse to tip - with one lick.
Holly has slept next to her adopted charges, kept bums clean, supervised them to make sure they didn't stray, chastises them for bad behaviour and, many's the day I will wake up to find her playing with "her kid", rolling him on the floor, nuzzling into his soft belly fur and seemingly giggling, as well as sneezing, while showing no retaliation nor impatience with the painful claws in her snout.

Today, Balu got me up at 7.30 a.m., he's been on and off the desk half the morning and, unusually for that time of day, snuggled on my lap, "arms" around my neck, nuzzling me and purring loudly. He's been sat on the chair beside me and has been following and nuzzling the dog even more than normal.
Animals can always sense when their routine is changing.

Little does he realize quite by how much.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Passport Security

Last Wednesday, finally, my passport arrived although it took several phone calls to chase it up and two more to literally "coach" the courier up here to the valley - against more whining protestations about having to drive further.

Once she got here she thrust the thing in my hand, wouldn't even look at me and, was off like a speeding bullet once she had my signature.

But, considering how important the document is and after the performance on the Tuesday, I really had no alternative but to phone the consulate in Madrid to chase it up and, in doing so, complain. They put me onto the courier, who, after I'd explained again, said they'd tell the driver it "just wasn't good enough."

Well, it wasn't. And, she was dead lucky to still have a job.

No, I don't say that flippantly. If I'd told one of my company's (any of them) customers they were too far away and refused to deliver, or lied to pretend I'd been somewhere and been caught out, I'd be on the dole, deservedly.

Another worrying issue came out of that conversation though: the office was telling the driver (I appreciate the hurry up) that I needed the passport to fly the next day. What I don't like about that (apart from the fact that it was a lie and, as an excuse will soon wear thin), is that this confirms to me that the couriers know what those packages contain. They should not / do not need to know.

All it would take is an employee who is anti-British or thinks they're underpaid and, let's face it everyone in Spain IS underpaid and you have a "perfect" environment for thefts of these valuable, saleable items.

(Yeah, yeah, so it's got a chip. The crooks will be well ahead ...)

Anyway, I thought Britain was trying to tighten security on passports, but this new delivery system, seems entirely counter productive, if you ask me. No, I'm not saying that any passports will definitely go missing, but this just does not seem like the best way to go about helping to prevent that possibility. And after that, now I really angrily resent all the additional costs, stupid photo requirements, extra journeys and unnecessary hoops I had to jump through.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

WTF Update?

The council plumbers, who were due to come last Tuesday, turned up at 7.50 a.m. last Wednesday morning. It's a good thing Cat Balu has taken to waking me up early then, she says sarcastically.

Anyway, the new regulator is fitted, even if they did fit more pipe, another stopcock and the whole thing ended up looking awfully similar to this bit of Fontanería creativa (creative plumbing).

The WTF? element is still the fact that a regulator is needed to protect the installations in the house from damages that could be caused by ups and downs in water pressure, when a) every single bit of it already broke (because of the last pressure surge) and is now new and b) the very same plumbers still insist that they are not responsible and that the pressure never changes.

For b) to be true, a) could not have happened.

They would, no doubt, argue that I had imagined the whole scenario, but I distinctly remember being wet up to the knees mopping out real water.

So, that just leaves the leaking water heater still to be fixed.

Since the regulator was fitted and the pressure was put back at a sensible level (I'm sure it wasn't measured with an apparatus, but it's better than it was), the intermittently not working water heater and the temperamental washing machine have both behaved themselves.

Now I've said that, bet they won't.

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