Gym Pimping

Well, it’s official, I am unemployed again.  I took the plunge and signed on at the local dole office which has been spruced up after my last unfortunate visit.  It even had a fancy new name, giving me the heebie jeebies about unemployment being outsourced – but as my ‘case’ person advised, community services, employment services and the dole people are all ”one happy family” now (she was smiling, so I am unsure if this was sarcasm or not) meaning a fancy new name and actual help to find jobs.  She even told me there was a cv service in the employment bit and I should enquire about making an appointment, which I did straight after, only to be told that they ‘do not make appointments, someone will call’ which just goes to show that fancy name or no, there is still abounding disinterest seeping through our public services.

And so!  I am feeling a little less stressed that I will now receive some food money (I have given up even trying to pay the mortgage – it’s eaten all my savings, and the cretins to whom the bank have outsourced (that dirty practice again) the arrears area to will not speak to me until Exhimself, currently missing in Australia, signs all the paperwork with me.  Em…he is missing in Australia.  Yes, can he sign the paperwork, then we will have a chat to you about attempting to work out a reasonable payment schedule based on your circumstances.  Em but I’m only in these circumstances because…em…Exhimself is currently missing in Australia.  Yes, when he signs the 5,000 forms we will talk to you at a time that suits us).

There has been a lot written about the banking system currently barely not operating in Ireland, and none of it scathing enough about how us normals are treated.  To hell with you cretinous outsourcedwithnobenefits twaddle peddlers!

Sitting at home has given way to some black thoughts, and to celebrate, I have obtained some free guest passes at Mammy and Papabear’s gym, as exercise is good for you inside and out and all that crap.  First session today, and the main excitement for Papabear and I was that nobody asked to see my guest pass!  This means a freebie for me, and there is nothing that gets people more excited than not just doing something for free, but doing it for free when you should have paid, or at least produced a guess pass.  This buoyed up my spirits and I took these spirits with me to the cross trainer, feeling that I could handle the cardio workout.  Eighty six seconds later I was gasping for air, nearly out of water, and dabbing my womanmoustache with my hairy towel.

I had intended to do some belly crunches but alas this fell by the wayside too.   Papabear discussed life with his weights buddies (you know all gyms where men gather in front of the mirror to flex, look at themselves and cackle like groups of women do in bars where they serve cheap white wine).  Then Dad sent one of his buddies over to me whilst I was engrossed about how awful I was feeling on the exercise bike to see if I needed a boyfriend.

Afterwards we came home, me with a scone, Papabear with the paper and we called Lilsister to see how her day was going and was she proud of us for attempting to exercise.  I had to dial the number because Papabear can’t see the screen on the new phone, nor the numbers, because his pink glasses (no joke) were missing.  I put in the numbers and hit ‘call’ and handed the phone to him, he attempted to speak to Lilsister but gave up as he couldn’t hear her and passed the phone to me.  It was upside down.  I righted the error, admonished my father and apologised to my sister for our heritage.  Will this stupidity trickle down to us eventually?

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A Bolt from Heaven

I didn’t realise, staring at the beautiful full moon last night, on the first non-gale force, non-lashing rain and sleet with below zero temperatures in over a month, that within minutes of coming indoors, continuing the calming effect with some classical music whilst I bled my ever useless radiator, that within minutes I would be scalded, screaming and soaked.

I blame Mammy for giving me the twirly knob thing that you stick in the back of radiators to ‘bleed’ in order for you to feel some semblance of heat in these freezing times.   Mammy normally does the bleeding for me; for once I was trusted to do it myself.  And what a peachy idea that turned out not to be.

I turned the knob thing.  The hissing began.  Grand.  I put the small towel underneath to catch the dribbles of water that would come out.  They did.

Then the gushing started.

It doesn’t normally do that, I thought.  Beethoven concurred, and played on.

Then it wouldn’t stop.  I better turn the knob thing the other way, I mused, and tried to do so.

It wouldn’t work, and instead the knob fell off, and I was instantly burned by the scalding water now seeping onto the wall, and all over my cheaply installed laminate floor boards.  The small towel quickly became a puddle of its own self.  I foresaw warped floorboards, peeling walls and a big problem.

I could think of no quick way to resolve the problem, except to say politely to the hole: ‘Em, could you please stop.  Ah stop now.  Would you ever STOP!!!!’.  The last part was delivered in a highly pitched screech, which made the dogs in the neighbouring back gardens howl.   And that was the volume of my voice for the rest of the incident.

And it just wouldn’t stop.  I stuck my finger into the hole – and I was burnt.  I now have a huge round welt where the top of my finger used to be, in the perfect circumference shape of the hole where the twirly knob thing goes to.  I ran, got a bucket, positioned it at an angle to capture the waterfall, and several more towels, which had just been washed and dried (damn!!!).  I was now standing bent over, finger in a hole, foot balancing a bowl at a perfect 90 degree angle, trying to reason with the universe.  Then I rang Mammy and screamed that I was being burnt alive yet being soaked, and could she come and do something with the twirly knob.  She screamed to turn the knob, quite unhelpful as I had been doing just that for quite some time now, and in fairness, this is what had started the bursting of the dam in the first place.  I screamed to just get over and figure out what I was doing wrong.

I turned off the music.

Mammy was over after seven minutes; it’s usually at least a 15 minute drive from hers to mine so I’m assuming she was galvanised into immediate action after imbibing my squealing over the Moonlight Sonatas.  The screaming re-started, it was now mother and daughter out-high pitching each other.  I asked Mammy what I should do, I heard ‘iiiieeeeeeee’ back.  At this stage, my back had cut out, after being bent over the radiator for the previous half an hour.  Three of my fingers had gone numb from trying to hold the water back, and my actual hand was practically gnawed off after trying to force the twirly knob thing back into its rightful hole and having it pop out of my hands on several occasions, after cutting me each and every time whilst doing so.

Mammy then disappeared, screaming about getting help.  I had no idea what she meant so I kept my finger in the hole and attempted to stand up.  At this stage, I had begun some obnoxious swearing aimed at the back of the radiator, as begging clearly wasn’t working.  No response, except for what seemed like more water.

Then I heard my name called, and a man’s name, this being my neighbour announcing himself from the front door.

‘How are you?’ he asked.

‘Not great,’ I replied.

‘The bolt from the radiator hole has come out,’ he replied and placed a sandwich on the windowsill.

Allegedly he had been eating this when Mammy tried to burst through his front door whilst shouting help my daughter!  He was unperturbed by this display enough to continue chewing as he leapt over our adjoining garden wall.

Mammy began screeching again: ‘That’s what I’ve been trying to tell her!!!’ to which I replied ‘I can only understand you when you talk in English Mammy.  When you burst my ear drums I cannot decipher a word you say.’  Then we started screaming at each other again and my neighbour calmly said ‘Let’s look for the bolt.’

Within seconds, the bolt had been found, inserted in the hole, the water had stopped and my neighbour took his sandwich away with him.  I mopped up the floors with my clean towels and Mammy blow-dried the walls.

Then she said she had to leave as her face hurt from laughing so much.

Fix Your Life? No – Fix Your Sheets

Whilst having a nervous breakdown earlier, so intense I’ve NOT WASHED MY DISHES (the shame!  The outrageous rock star behaviour!) I decided to pop down to Mammy and Papabear’s house to use their internet and computer because I, due to extreme poverty owing to a lack of job owing to a lack of decency at my last one leading to my deciding to take the path of freedom (and hence poverty), do not have either.

The extent of my computer work was to look up ‘retreat centres’ where people having midlife crises (or nervous breakdowns as I prefer to call my current dribbling predicament) can go and stay in a mini house thing and think in front of a fire.  Naturally there is no tv, radio, net, or dirty boys to distract you.  This is hardcore meditation and reflection, with electric blankets.  One’s body should not suffer during the Irish winter just because one’s mind is falling apart.

Anyhoo I’ve emailed a place – calling them seemed wrong, as I didn’t want them to hear my dribbling, they might turn me away.

Afterwards Mammy came in and fed me roast pork (I ate the entire crackling) and ice-cream which is my favourite dessert ever, alongside Victoria Sponge, coffee and walnut cake made by Trevor and Panties’ cupcakes.

After THAT, Mammy read some cards and they seem to have come out quite positive.  Some of what came out in the cards echo what my counsellor has been saying to me which is worrying if one is thinking one’s counsellor is either influencing or being influenced by some cards in Mammy’s living room, or not worrying, for the same reasons.

This induced a positive life discussion of how I am somehow going to get out of this emotional mire, with Mammy encouraging me in my writing, noting that when I write about day to day activities and their madness it always comes out well.  Unfortunately this led my tangent-prone mother to then remind me of something she had reminded herself to remind me about some days ago, that being the way I hang sheets on the line.

I have not discussed this before but my mother and Lilsister have serious brain deformities when it comes to washing clothes and how they are hung and dried on various washing lines.  I come down on the side of the normals when it comes to washing, that meaning that if my clothes are cleaned and occasionally even ironed, I am quite happy.  However, when it comes to the other women in my immediate family, I am seriously outclassed.  Clothes have to be hung a certain way, and with a certain level of exposure to fresh air (difficult to do in Ireland due to horrific weather) or else they may crinkle 5% more than they would have, or ‘smell funny’.   Even underwear does not escape particular hanging rules and regulations, despite (in my case) nobody seeing it.  Duvets and pillows must always be allowed to dry in the air, however difficult, even if this means running to the back garden every six minutes to rescue the bedlinen from  the next torrential shower.  An excellent workout I’ll admit, but I go to a class for that and that is quite sufficient thank you.

I know at this stage I should confide and confirm the correct way to hang a duvet in torrential rain as per Mammy’s advice, but really, could you be bothered?  And as for using an iron for anything except a perfunctory glide over a scabby work top and then throwing said iron through a window when the finished job looks as if you did it blindfolded, well you know what I mean.

We have now spent longer discussing my uselessness at drying clothes than we have of the shambolic disaster that is my life at the moment, so it’s good to know priorities are being met.  I wouldn’t mind, but unlike Mammy and Lilsister, I don’t even change my sheets that often – once a week?!?  Who has the patience?  But I’ll only release that titbit of information on their respective death beds.  That way they can’t get me and imprison me for offences against Good Housekeeping.

Yes, I fully expect to outlive them both.