The door of an underground car-park, stuck 2/3 way down

I’d just been congratulating myself on being such an efficient Little Red Hen: having to move all my stuff from the big house to my new apartment, and pack every box myself, carry it down 3 flights of stairs, load it into my tiny car, and then carry it up 3 flights of stairs in the new place…

To be fair, Jem and Matty have been wonderful, M especially as he can carry the heavy boxes, and also being 6 foot 5 is great for fixing lightshades etc 😉

Anyhoo, went over today after lunch with the penultimate (I hope!) lot of kitchen jars, all the bits and bobs off my desk, and my concertina file of documents. (And my Scrabble dictionary, so all my opponents should make the most of this opportunity!)

The underground car park door opened OK with my remote, I unloaded all the boxes, a passing resident asked if I needed help, I smiled sweetly and accepted his offer with the heavy stuff, and he introduced himself as Tommy, from a flat 2 floors down.

All the boxes safely inside, I set about unpacking and re-arranging. Jem, as I said, has been an absolute star, and donated her iPod base unit to the communal living area, so I slotted in my newly re-found big iPod (the Shuffle lives in my handbag) and the first song it chose was “Don’t You Worry Bout a Thing”.

I sang along as I hammered the feet into Jem’s computer desk, and re-arranged the position of the shoe rack in my bedroom, thanking my lucky stars yet again fro finding such a beautiful and LARGE apartment.

Still singing, I stacked some empty boxes to take back with me, and went back down to teh car park.  The roller door was stuck about 2/3 way down.  I pressed the remote button.  Nothing.  I got out and pressed all the buttons by the side of the door – no response.  Luckliy, I’d recently imported all my contacts into my new iPhone, so I called the owner of the apartment (no reply), and then the letting agent.  They in turn got the maintenance people to ring me, who asked if I’d pressed all the buttons.  Ok, they’d send someone out but it might be an hour before they got to me.

Time passed.

I listened to the radio – Dermot O’Leary was on.  I thought I’d send him a text about my predicament just to pass the time.  He played me a dedication! Paulo Nutini, too <wow>

Time passed.

Tommy re-appeared, leaving out some rubbish.  He tried pressing all the buttons, too, and nothing happened, though we had a nice little chat.

Time passed.

Another resident appeared, and started putting a suitcase into his BMW. I explained that the door was stuck, but he said “Oh it’s done this before, I managed to get it to open” and he proceeded to press all the buttons…and to my amazement, the door opened!  He wasn’t able to tell me what the magic sequence was, sadly, but Freedom!

I’d been planning on taking Max for a last walk together.  It is undoubtedly strange being in this position: tonight is quite possibly the last night I’ll spend in the big house.  And while I’m pretty sure I’ll see Max again, and take him for walkies, we don’t really know what shape the future will be.

Jem is sooo looking forward to leaving the big house, and absolutely adores the new place.  I feel sad that she feels no regrets at leaving the big house – doesn’t want any reason to come back her and doesn’t want to see Roger again. But am so impressed at her positive attitude to moving, fresh start, her helpfulness and cheerfulness.

The owner’s just phoned me as I’m typing this, very apologetic about the inconvenience.  He’d just been round himself and apparently the door is stuck again, so maybe he can put some pressure on to the maintenance crowd to get it sorted.

Meanwhile, I’m off to The Gambia tomorrow, where it’s currently 40 degrees!!!

Still singing “Don’t You Worry Bout a Thing”….

Scary Musical

Jem’s latest production was Scary Musical, an innuendo-laden spoof of High School Musical, with some hilarious pastiches of Fame, Grease, and Saturday Night Fever thrown in along the way.
a flier for scary musical

The lyrics are very clever – I particularly liked “It doesn’t have to be hard if we come together – if we all lend a hand, job done, we can pull it off….”

I’ll leave the choreography and …erm…actions to your imagination!

A very talented cast – I recgonised most of them from other MT4UTH and McMaster shows, and I thought to myself “Ah yes, the usual suspects”. And then I thought, yup, those are NI’s stars of tomorrow. And what a great bunch they all are. Remember my name!

New phone, old phone

Having been distinctly unimpressed by Voadafone’s customer service last year (new handset, had problems, replaced with reconditioned handset, had different probelms, repeat several times until they refused to replace a non-functioning handset…) I’d vowed to wait out my contract with them and then treat myself to an iPhone!

And here it is.

An iPhone, its packaging, and an old fashioned dictaphone Now, I wouldn’t normally class myself as an early adopter, but I’m the first person in my office to have one!  OK, 2 of the guys have Blackberries so it’s not like we’re completely last millennium.

I’m a bit old skool at times – you can see an ancient dictaphone in the background, which I carry in the car with me.  I use it to make a note of any songs on the radio I like, so I can download them later.  I use it to record directions to somewhere I don’t know (I did have a SatNav but it got stolen out of the car).

And of course I used my old phone to take a photo of the new one!

2009 review

Started the year with walkies on the beach, and enjoyed Scottish Dancing at Burns Night.  Jem auditioned for High School Musical and MT4UTH.

In February Max had to go to the vet’s for his shoulder to be X-rayed, and Jem went skiing on a school trip.  In March we went to see Flashdance, and Jem sang I’m Still Hurting at her school concert.  During April we went on a bike weekend to Kesh, and saw Evita.  At Easter Jem went to a course at Bird College, and was awarded the hardest working student cerfickatick.  I went to a weekend Scottish dancing course in my alma mater, Coleraine High.

In May, my nephew did well with his goats at Balmoral Show, and I received my favourite text of the year from my sister: “Cld u get some cabbages, and if so cld u bring 6?”  We went to the North West 200, which was badly disrupted by accidents and weather.  We went to see Fame and Cabaret, and I ran a 10k run for action cancer.  At the end of the month my son turned 18; we celebrated with a family party in the Hilden brewery, and I made a montage of photos from throughout his life.

In June, Jem got to meet the President of Ireland, and appeared as Martha in High School Musical.  In July, we went to see Never Forget, and Evelyn Glennie, before heading to China for an amazing trip.  The high point for me was seeing that glorious diamond ring of the eclipse, although dancing on the Great Wall was rather fabulous, and the whole trip was truly magnificent.

In August, Jem appeared on the stage of the Grand Opera House in Godspell, and my sister described her when she dances as looking as though it’s the most wonderful thing she’s ever been asked to do. She got her photo on the front of the local paper.  Mum and Dad celebrated their Golden wedding anniversary, and we had a wonderful party with cake and a song wot I wrote: I’d converted some old camcorder tapes onto DVDs for them, and had fun making covers and and labels.  At the end of August I rode my new bike, Zucchero, to Skye, and only dropped it once!  And was able to pick it up myself. In Skye we visited Calum’s Road, where R and a group of about a  dozen bikers will be setting off next year to ride to The Gambia.

In September Harry started university, and Jem auditioned for Guys and Dolls. She also did a photo shoot for the pantomime, and her picture was used many times for publicity.  We looked after my sister-in-law’s dog, Mack, when she had to have breast surgery.

During October, Jem played the Narrator in her school production of Blood Brothers, and had her Just Dance audition.  I visited old friends in Luxembourg and Frankfurt.  November brought parents evening, where for the first time I got nothing but glowing reports!  She then totally wowed the audiences with her charming portrayal of Miss Adelaide .  In December we went to London and saw Legally Blonde, and I decided to do something about the 2 stone I’ve put on since I stopped smoking 2 years ago, and re-joined the gym.  I also decided that the deteriorating atmosphere at home, which had included many flouncing outs, 3 day sulks, and a laptop flung across the room, was untenable, and I found a little apartment for Jem and I to move into in the New Year.

I’m approaching the new decade with a positive attitude – I will lose some weight, I’ll be visiting The Gambia in February, and help Jem get through her GCSEs.  Come September who knows where we’ll all be!