Life, photos but not the universe

Crossed off

Today I had a medium sized list of things to do which included a number of conversations I needed to have.

Two of them were with the owners of cottages which Barney has recently thatched because he’d like photos on the website.  They took quite a while because the owners were both nice and chatty people – the photos of one took a while too because as I passed one window, I saw the other owner of the cottage, obviously putting on socks (and who knows what else might have followed)  in his dining room and I felt it would be polite to move round to the other side of the cottage till he’d finished – unfortunately it’s a long thin cottage so I could still see him through the window on the other side.

Then there was next door, about the cat when we go away on the steam train.  Naturally the conversation covered leeks and road works and BT and phone scams (I’ll be going into those in much more detail soon) and birds and mice and squirrels and the cat came in as an aside as I was about to leave.

Then I had three phone conversations which were not on my list;  I really ought to add that every day – deal with scammers.  That only took 3 x not very long.

Later I phoned Youngest about Youngest Youngest’s birthday present.  Nothing at all to do with the colour of a tiger’s nose or the number of people you might see at the Taj Mahal aor how the Himalayas could be made into a story mountain. I texted photos of the above to her and eventually learnt what Youngest Youngest would like for his birthday.

And all I crossed out on my list was

Photos roofs

Cat/next door

Phone Youngest

Took most of the afternoon.  That wasn’t very satisfactory, though I enjoyed the conversations.  And there was a small detour on the way home from the cottages.






The road works have settled down a bit.  A few weeks ago, we were told that they were going to run a pipe from the reservoir at Calcot to our little one at Cold Ash – something to do with conserving water in the River Kennet, which is probably good, though I worry about the water users in Reading.  If we in Newbury have depleted the Kennet, a fair sized river,  what will happen to them (who I assume also drink from the Kennet as it runs through Reading) when we start on their water reserves?*  Sorry Tim.

Anyway, they’re going to close various smallish roads which are in between us and the rest of civilisation while they run pipes up and down them.  At the same time, obviously, the Electricity board are going to install big new cables along the sort of mainish road that links Hermitage to Newbury.  So last week, one night, I arrived at the tail end of a ten minute traffic jam waiting for a set of four-way lights in the middle of Hermitage and thought I’ll just nip thorough the back way, past the end of the pipe-line works and lo and behold, there was a pick-up truck parked across the nippy bit with its hazard lights flashing.  Which left either a three mile detour along tiny roads with deep muddy ruts in all the passing places or back to the traffic lights in the village plus a queue to get into it.  Impossible to work out which would be more time and fuel consuming.  I was a bit cross.

Anyway, the four way bit has now moved along and is just a regular single track delay (I can’t see how they’re going to make it last six weeks).  The problem is that all this interference with normal travelling is blocking all the sensible routes which I would like to use to get to Oxford when I’m baby minding and I really do have to get there on time otherwise the nursery will call the social services!**  (So I’m told).  So I will have to leave ever so early just to be sure I can get there in time wherever they’ve moved the closures.  I feel as if we’re under siege.

And tomorrow, we have to get to Swindon quite early, so in case they’ve moved the lights again and are now causing a three-way hold-up, we have to leave very, very early.  Really, I can’t see how things can go on like this.  Eventually, all the roads to everywhere will be blocked with temporary lights and then the sea will rise and flood all the traffic jams and we’ll all be sorry we didn’t switch off our TVs.

Oh well.  Just in case the world ends tomorrow or all the traffic lights and pipes fall into a big hole and we’re cut off forever, I’ve had a haircut and bought some new shoes.  Very snazzy white trainers with pink trimmings and laces.  Actually, I think the trimmings are cerise!  Sounds good anyway.   And tomorrow our friend is going to come and fix the dripping taps so as well as being unwontedly smart I shall no longer be driven batty by drippings and dribblings.  However, he’s coming very early in the morning so I’d better go to bed.

*Well not literally – that would be very unpleasant what with all the boats going through it and the drainage and run-offs and stuff.

**I collect the Gorgeous Babe from her nursery at 1.oo and it seems if the person collecting the child is more than five minutes late, they have to call social services.  Of course I could phone Mrs Middle and she could collect GB but that wouldn’t endear her to the newspaper she reports for.  It’s bound to happen eventually because the A34  is infamous for its snarl-ups and accidents – as I know much too well  and within a few minutes of a hold-up there’s a several mile tail-back.

February 7, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Steam train? How did I miss those plans?
    Driving is getting more and more onerous so much so that everyone under 30 or over 70 should be banned… or, I’ve just thought of this so may need work, we could alternate days men and women, that might work.

    Comment by Linda | February 7, 2013 | Reply

  2. They need to run a large pipe down from Lancashire and everyone will be happy.

    I took a pic just like yours yesterday

    View this post on Instagram

    Dark skies at night

    A post shared by Roger Peacock (@the_peakster) on

    Comment by Rog | February 7, 2013 | Reply

  3. No worries, Mig, we also have the Thames, which ought to suffice. (But it prompts me wonder where my water actually does come from – oh dear, I feel a wasted hour coming on, which I really can’t afford. Why are wasted hours so much more fun than useful ones?)

    Comment by Tim | February 7, 2013 | Reply

  4. I wrote a pithy comment and something ate it!
    Now I forget how to write pith…
    Oh! That’s right – I asked why you and Barney don’t live in Thatcham. I bet everyone asks him that.
    And i also said that i thought Linda’s idea might lead to people going around in drag in order to beat the men/women driving days. Imagine! Thousands of Vesta Tilleys and Danny la Rues hurtling along the M1. 🙂

    Comment by dinahmow | February 7, 2013 | Reply

  5. Not the over seventies Linda – I haven’t got so long till I reach that and I’d throw a tantrum if I wasn’t allowed to drive. I quite like the alternate gender days though, think of all the men who’d have to start doing the school run.

    The water would never get here Rog, all those delays on the M6. Nice pic – amazing how church spires pop up all over the countryside in Winter!

    I am relieved Tim. And happy to think of you enjoying a break from all those useful hours.

    Ah well, technically, we do Dinahmow – our postcode is Thatcham though we deny it at every opportunity. So much nicer to be attached to a fine old Market town than a sprawling commuter dormitory don’t you think?

    Comment by Mig | February 8, 2013 | Reply

  6. Well, at least “commuter dormitory” is infinitely better than “slum clearance.” 🙂 But Newbury does have stronger roots, I agree.

    Comment by dinahmow | February 9, 2013 | Reply

  7. WOW–you tell himself that the thatch is GORGEOUS. Seriously–beautiful work. Wow….heck yeah take photos! It’s very well done. (and thank you for the tidbit about the fella inside–I TRIED to avoid looking into windows.

    I really, really like the every other day men/women idea! AS long as Barney is willing to haul the camera with him, that is… :-/ *laughing* I think he’d look splendid in a skirt–kilt counts, I’d suppose.

    And I have a list to go through this morning as well.
    NOT as exciting as yours–and not anywhere AS social.
    THANK you for that one! *whew*

    Seriously–five minutes and they ring social services?! I gotta tell ya, that’s beyond silly. What an piece of emotional blackmail THAT is.
    Seriously! Sheeeeeeshhh!

    Comment by Mel | February 9, 2013 | Reply

  8. I will tell him Mel thank you : ) I think it’s just a Nursery School rule – they aren’t prepared to have parents getting casual about picking up so, yes, a bit of blackmail. It’s a very nice place for the children!

    Comment by Mig | February 11, 2013 | Reply

  9. […] the water pipe* is on it’s way past our house.  We are surrounded by the layers of the pipe and all their […]

    Pingback by I don’t know if I’m coming or going. « Letouttoplay | April 5, 2013 | Reply

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