Sunday 13 March 2011

Don't panic. RTFM

Whilst Japan was disappearing under a tsunami following the earthquake, we headed up to Norfolk this weekend. I realise that this is an enormous prejudice on my heart, but I've been confused that in the last few months that Australia has been hit by floods, New Zealand has been hit by an earthquake, and now Japan. I always thought these things happened in third world countries. I may need to rethink.

The weekend in Norfolk had been planned for...oh I don't know how long, I just got told that we were going. Eight of us in a cottage in Norfolk, with seven of the group having known each other for thirty years. As one was The Cat's Mother's brother, UP, and I was at school with him it could be argued that I had at least known one of the party for thirty five years. But as we don't remember being in the same classroom, it didn't help. Anyway, without name dropping, the person whose cottage it is, does interior design work for the Sultan of Brunei. Well someone has to don't they?!

I guess it started going wrong when the phone rang earlier in the week at about half past ten at night. "Oh, Paul" said the voice at the other end of the line. Paul's not my name. That's the name of The Cat's Mother's ex. I decided to take umbrage. And I hold a grudge well.

It carried on when I discovered that I had to leave work early on Friday so we could get there at a reasonable time, when I was the only one there manning the fort that day.

As it happened, on Friday, I managed to spend three hours on the phone to my bank having one of those conversations when I'm speaking one language and clearly they're speaking another. Suffice to say, there will shortly be a missive to the ombudsman. Naturally this meant that all the work that needed to be done in the morning got crammed into an hour over lunch, and I was late leaving.

So I arrived home late, and forgot to pick up half the things I should have done.

We had two ways of getting there. Following the very scientific and very precise satnav, or following the directions of the person whose cottage it is. Naturally, the satnav was silenced. Anyway, I can tell you that Norfolk, all of Norfolk, is a lovely place at night. We would have carried on enjoying the scenic tour had it not been for me saying "Sussex Farm?" to which The Cat's Mother said, "No we're looking for Stewards Cottage. Oh. Erm Sussex Farm". Fortunately diesel's not that expensive at the moment is it?

Anyway, the cottage was lovely, and the people great. Apart from one who kept dripping the juice from the olives in my wine, and then kept pinching my glass as soon I put it down, and another who kept on referring to The Cat's Mother by her married name, which she changed by deed poll five years ago.

Anyway, I'd absolutely recommend a trip to Wells Next The's a beautiful beach albeit a long walk from the town, with no beach cafe to get refreshments for some very tired legs. Actually I hadn't realised just how beautiful Norfolk could really is stunning.

After a meal out we came back to play the name game. You may know it by a different's the one where you write names on bits of paper, they go into a hat and everyone has to guess who it is. I can't stand it. I don't know why. I just don't enjoy it. I can't imagine that it's been played for thirty years, but it is a thirty-year old tradition and I joined in. You have to make these sacrifices.

The next morning, one of our number decided to put the dishwasher on, but in a 'brain fart' moment put in Fairy Liquid. The washing up liquid, not Fairy Liquid dishwasher tablets. I'd say no more than a couple of hours were spent scooping the foam out whilst exploring the internet for helpful suggestions, and Reading The Fucking Manual. In general scooping out the foam seems to be the way to go...certainly better than adding vinegar, or adding soap as suggested by some. It was largely fixed by the time we left.

Don't get the wrong idea, it was a lovely weekend. But very hard work indeed.

And the phrase of the weekend?

"Are you saying I disagree with my own opinion?"

You can work that one out yourself.

Dishwashers don't like washing up liquid