Friday, 26 February 2010

Surreal conversations

It's turned out to be a strange week... perhaps the moon is in conjunction with Uranus? No letter of appointment for the hospital after giving an armful of blood and an enduring an MRI scan; so I rang the clinic and asked Miss Efficiency (very politely) if I could expect notification soon regarding my next appointment. It was as if I'd unleashed the Gods down upon her..."How do I know what your doctor looked like?" But, I didn't ask! "Was she young with short fair hair?" she continued... "umm, can't remember, but I don't think her appearance really is the issue here..." I replied. "Did she tell you that you would have an appointment?" she shouted down the phone at me. "Yes, - I would get a letter asking me back to the clinic in three weeks' time... and that three weeks is up..." I didn't finish my sentence, she transferred me back to reception, whereupon I asked to speak to the secretary of the clinic's consultant. Answermachine! I left a polite, gentle message, not wishing to unleash the Gods again. I did get a response... a polite message saying my letter would be in the post... and an apology for not having received the letter by now. Result!

Then two days' ago I was driving along our narrow little lane, going slowly around the bend (ha), when a man in white van came straight at me at speed, I swerved into the hedge, narrowly escaping having a wrecked car. Boy, did I swear! I extricated my now scratched car out of the hedge (white van man didn't stop)... and went to the village shop (now housed in the local pub), and collected my paper, still shaking while relaying the incident to the ladies behind the counter. I drove back along my lane looking in all the driveways for the white van... no luck; he'd gone. I wanted to confront him, knowing full well I'd only get a mouthful in return.

And, just half an hour ago, the two builders whom I've been trying to get round here to look at the crumbling rendering on my new house, turned up. I opened the front door and about to say hello, when I had a tirade along the lines of: "It's Frost! Not our problem... you should have painted the rendering by now." "Hello" I replied. He continued, "We were only responsible for the first 2 years, and these houses were built 7 years' ago..." I interjected, ", five years and that's the date on the NHBC insurance certificate." He towered above me and shouted down, "No, 7 years!" By this time I was trembling a bit but determined not to show it. I said, "I don't want to argue with you, just tell me if you will give me a quote for the work and I shall contact NHBC." He calmed down a bit, and said, "yeah, we'll do the work... but it's your fault the rendering has come off." "How", I asked. "You should have had it painted, 'cos you live on an exposed site." I reminded him that my immediate neighbours had had their rendering painted two years' ago, and they are also pursuing a claim for cracked rendering, so clearly, painting it didn't prevent the problem. I stood back inside my porch at this point. He drew breath and I interjected again... "I shall get back to you after I've spoken to NHBC about this." I smiled and closed the door. I have just spoken to James at NHBC who is sending around an assessor and has assured me that painting the rendering is just cosmetic and that the rendering should be up to the job. Hey Ho... we shall see what happens!

Tonight I'm off to Art Club... someone very arty is coming to offer a critique of work... I don't think I shall put myself up for a critique yet! Not until the Moon disappears completely up Uranus!


Puddock said...

What a rotten week, Jenny. You did really well and I hope you poured yourself a large whisky/ hot chocolate/ warm bath to recover.

I was talking to another widowed friend of mine who lives in the Highlands. She is well into her seventies now and had spent much of the morning digging out her car from the snow drifts. I was absolutely fizzing on her behalf that her young, fit neighbours hadn't thought to offer to help and wished I lived closer so that I could have helped. We agreed that unlike the public image of widows as among the weakest members of society (and second-class citizens to boot), we are the strongest people, through necessity, that anyone is likely to come across.

A great big cyber-hug to you from me. I hope the results from the hospital, when they arrive, are good news.

JennyB said...

Thanks Puddock... I indeed had a scented bath and the Friday evening outing to the Art Group meeting ended with two pub trips and a bit of bopping to a live band which cheered me up.

Helsie said...

Go get'em Jenny. I have often heard about the problems faced by lone women but we are resilient we modern women. Keep a cool facade , breathe and win 'em over with your self control. It will eventually make them feel small.
"You catch more flies with honey" as the saying goes.

JennyB said...

You are so right Helsie... I typed out a letter of complaint to the Director of the firm of Builders... then deleted it. It made me feel better, but if the workmen are to do the repair work, I want them to do it well and not pee in the mortar mix! My complaint can wait!

Hogday said...

What a run of missing luck!! Glad you had a good evening in the pub. Saw this today and thought of you:
Hope you enjoy perusing.

JennyB said...

Thanks for the link Hogday... great stuff! Glad you didn't injure yourself too much on the ice! Update on health coming tomorrow... will let you know.

Much love