Tag: Crowded House

Private Universe

I have all I want, is that simple enough?
A whole lot more I’m thinking of;
Every night about six o’clock
Birds come back to the pond to talk.
They talk to me, birds to talk to me,
If I go down on my knees

I will run for shelter,
Endless summer, lift the curse.
It feels like nothing matters in our private universe


Fairly normal start to the day; it’s the last day before a long weekend, and contrary to all expectations, it wasn’t completely full of meetings; I had my head down and managed to get a bunch of stuff done. Not everything I wanted but there was some progress there, including helping out members of my team with various bits they were having problems with.

The sun was shining and the kids were having lots of fun outside; my spirits were raised by the arrival of the new tyres for my bike – I’ve been itching to get back on the road. Once I’d finished my workday, I put together a fish pie and then fitted them; or that was the plan, anyway. It turns out that the combination of Schwalbe puncture-resistant tyres and tubeless rims makes for a really difficult experience fitting the tyres; I hadn’t even managed to get the first one on before dinner.

Put the kids to bed fairly early; they were tired, then joined some friends on Zoom for a catch up, all the while still trying to mount the thing. Eventually I gave up around midnight, when I turned in for the night, arms aching from trying to get the bead over the rim, having nicked two inner tubes in the process. They’re at least repairable, unlike the last two. After a bit of research online I heard of something called a tyre bead jack, so I’ve ordered one; Amazon will deliver it on Sunday. Hopefully it’ll do the trick or I’ll be looking for a bike shop to fit these tyres.


Woke up early and got everyone in the car at a reasonable hour to set off down down the A303. We stopped for a picnic lunch at Stonehenge, before heading off again and reaching Fiona and Nick’s farm by about 5pm, settling into our cabin there and mucking about in the field outside by the river before getting the kids into bed and enjoying the stillness that comes from being miles from anywhere.

Oh, wait, no, that was what was supposed to happen today. Obviously we haven’t actually left the house. Today was a bit of a struggle; it started off nicely enough, but then the weather turned. I’ve finally re-potted and put the tomato plant outside; hopefully the weather’s now warm enough for it to cope. It’s been getting way too big for the windowsill where it’s rested recently. Hung the washing out while J was doing her online Zumba class, then brought it in again as the rain started. Bah.

Had a film afternoon with the kids while I was preparing the dinner, J had suggested Descendants, a Disney film imagining the children of some of the worst antagonists in their movies going to school together. Not really my cup of tea but I enjoyed watching Kristin Chenoweth chewing up the scenery as Maleficent; she’d obviously enjoyed the part massively.

Both of the kids have been massively tired recently; if it hadn’t been for the fact they’ve not left the house I’d wonder if they hadn’t caught something somewhere. Again, sent them to bed early, one of them with Calpol as he was complaining of a headache, then had time for a movie for ourselves, in this case Thor: Ragnarok. Been a very lazy day today, tomorrow will hopefully be a bit more active.

Four Seasons in One Day

Four seasons in one day,
Lying in the depths of your imagination.
Worlds above and worlds below…
The sun shines on the black clouds
Hanging over the domain.
Even when you’re feeling warm,
The temperature could drop away
Like four seasons in one day.

Nine days to go. The removal van is booked, and the only thing left is for the insurance certificate to turn up.

On the day we exchanged, I phoned the insurance company and explained that I’d just agreed to buy a house and needed to insure it. I repeated the fact that I didn’t want the paperwork sent to the new house, as I didn’t own it yet. They said that that would be no problem and repeated my current address back to me, reassuring me they’d send the certificate to the right address.

They didn’t. I phoned a week later and was told it went to the new house. No problem, they said, we’ll send you new copies. Have they turned up yet? The hell they haven’t. Fortunately I managed to get hold of the current owners of the house and they’re forwarding me any letters that do turn up at their address.

And then there’s removals companies. I’ve contacted three, two local companies and one big name, well-known firm. The results?

  • Local firm #1 Booked an appointment for Tuesday evening, which they rescheduled for Thursday after other issues. He failed to find our current address for looking over our stuff but otherwise seemed OK, and promised a quote within a couple of days.
  • Local firm #2 Turned up on Saturday morning as booked. Looked around, had done their homework (the estimator already knew our new house is set back from the road with a green in front of it) and promised a quote within a few days.
  • National firm – Couldn’t get a survey done for at least two weeks, and would only do it within office hours. Then decided they couldn’t do a survey at all and sent me a questionnaire to fill in which would get me an accurate quotation. Failed to send said questionnaire to me for a couple of days.

And the results? Local firm #2 won. The fact that they’d been the most reliable and accessible of all the firms contributed, always calling back straight away, getting things done as and when I asked. The price was good too. The national firm just didn’t seem to want our business, and local firm #1 lost out just through being slightly less well organised.