Sunday, 22 May 2022

Choosing my battles - amended

 The roof appeared to be finished when we arrived home yesterday, and a superficial glance seemed to show that the workmen had cleaned up.....husband did say that the garden was a lot tidier than it was when he came home briefly during the week.  However, once we actually went outside and had a closer look, it's still a mess and there are a couple of jobs the workmen didn't do on the roof.  They only replaced one of the two cage things that go on the chimney pots to stop birds nesting in the chimneys - the other one they just popped on top of the first one!  They had to take off the phone cable fixing to put the new fascia boards in place, but haven't reattached the fixing, so the phone cable is just dangling in mid air.  

The lawn is smothered with dozens and dozens of small bits of broken tile, which will have to be removed before mowing else they'll wreck the mower.  There are broken bits of wood, tiles, lumps of cement, sawn off bits of new guttering, nails and fixings scattered everywhere, some hanging off plants and in my planted pots.  There was a foot-long piece of wood with a large nail in it pointing upwards left on the back lawn, it was half hidden in long grass, any of us (most likely to be husband or Betty) could have trodden on it.  I have no idea whether the men are coming back tomorrow, I would think not as the roof appears to be substantially finished and the 2 outstanding small jobs I assume are an oversight.  Husband is going to ring the landlord first thing tomorrow though, to insist they come back.  I'm not getting involved in that, nor stressing over it all, I'm leaving it up to husband to sort out.  No idea when the scaffolders will be back to take down the scaffolding - soon, I hope, and then the garden will get back to normal in due course.

We went shopping yesterday afternoon - every time we go, husband exclaims over the cost, even though I keep telling him food prices are rising on a weekly basis.  Even I had raised eyebrows yesterday though, the shopping cost substantially more than the last time.  Admittedly, it was a big shop and I did get extra of a few things that I know will be going up in cost even more over the next few weeks.....such as flour, seeing as grain supplies are stuck in Ukraine.  I bought 8 bags of flour, most of which I'll keep in the freezer.  I also bought extra tinned goods.  The one thing I didn't buy loads of is meat, it's just getting too expensive and we're going to cut down on our meat consumption even more.  I'm going to write a list of budget-conscious meals using more veg (preferably home grown), more pulses and grains, with meat as a flavouring if you like, rather than a main ingredient.  We'll also have more meat-free days, although we'll never go fully vegetarian as we both enjoy meat and fish very much.

It is a worry trying to budget, although I think I do it quite well.  We're on fixed incomes (State pension and 3 small private pensions for husband, 1 fairly small private pension for myself) with no prospect of earning money - no job opportunities round here, and not with our health problems anyway.  I don't get my state pension for another 3.5 years yet, and that's assuming the Government doesn't move the goal posts yet again before then.  I'm determined to try and keep paying the caravan site fees (currently £1200 a year, which is cheap as caravan parks go) for as long as I can, as the caravan really is our lifeline.  Husband hasn't got a lot left of his windfall pension lump sum and he's got to hang onto that for car expenses, whether it be ongoing repair costs for this present car, or to buy a different one.

I still think we're very fortunate though - we have 2 homes (or the equivalent of), both of which are in nice quiet areas, plenty of food, running water and electricity, a car (even if it is occasionally problematical), internet/phones to keep us in contact with family and friends, and although we both have health problems, neither of us is disabled (Yet!).  So I never lose sight of the fact that we're well off in comparison to the Ukrainians, e.g.

My depression, stress and anxiety are still there, but I'm managing to keep it all under control at the moment, apart from the odd day here and there when nothing goes right or I can't see a solution to certain problems and I'm in floods of tears in the privacy of my bedroom at night, or tearing my hair out and just feeling like I'm banging my head on a brick wall because my nearest and dearest just don't seem willing or able to understand.  I WILL get better eventually, but know it will be under my own steam and through my own efforts, the one thing that this bout of depression has taught me is that I'm on my own, I can't expect anyone else to help.

*An added complication - the scaffolders have just turned up to start taking the scaffolding down....on a Sunday!  But they need it for another job, apparently.  The gang boss has kindly agreed to see if he can put the bird cage thing on the chimney pot, and reattach the phone cable to the fascia, despite it not being his job.  Nice of him.  So it's very noisy here again today, my head will be banging by this afternoon and nerves frazzled again.  Husband doesn't want us to go out in case the scaffolders decide not to do the 2 small roof jobs whilst we're not here, so I'll just have to grit my teeth and keep busy until they're gone.


  1. Make a list/take photos of all the stuff that hasn't been done, or the rubbish that's been left. Then they can't deny it! It was kind of the scaffolder to sort out the roof problems. If only all workmen were that nice! You appear to have the food budgeting sorted (until prices rise again). The Government have got to do something about the cost of living. For many people, there are no more cuts to make. I hope your depression soon eases. Sending hugs. xx

  2. The first lot sound like typical messy workman, a tidy workman it seems is hard to find these days. Thank goodness the scaffold boss is seeing to the two little jobs for you before the scaffolding comes down. A stroke of good luck indeed. And thank goodness you found that plank with the nail in it before Betty hurt herself. You should maybe threaten the landlord with the vets bills if she does hurt herself on any of the detritus left behind.

  3. Well done you - choose the battles which are worth fighting.

    As for food prices and the overall economic situation, I know I am in a more fortunate position than many but I'm still cutting back on stuff, I've yet to meet anyone who is not.

  4. A pail of water on the heads of the messy workmen. Kind of a curse. :) To make you giggle.
    I guess they didn't leave anything valuable...of course not.

  5. Sorry that you came home to a bit of a mess (well more than a bit). I hope the men come and finish cleaning everything up, and I hope the gentleman managed to put the bird cage and fix the phone cable. I would definitely be complaining to the landlord.

    God bless.


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