Friday, 31 July 2009

Living well within our means

It has been more than a week since my last blog. When someone dies unexpectedly and leaves very sad and confused people behind, blogging - or my kind of blogging - just seems so very trite.

But community life here in England's rural underbelly goes on. As I open the bedroom windows just before nine this morning, Celebrity Farmer's dad rolls up in his Landrover Defender, eases himself out of the driver's seat and shouts: 'Tis time you got up, Maddie.'

I have, in fact, been up for a while but obviously not as long as Celeb's dad. He is a farmer, after all. Nobby Odd-Job, carrying a lavatory flush for no apparent reason, walks by and stops for a chat with MDF Man. A two-trailer cattle lorry jacknifes in the Square and there is pandemonium.

My stint at the council Death Star finally came to an end yesterday. I bought a load of sweets, cakes and biscuits to say goodbye. The Stormtroopers turned out to be a nice bunch but public sector bureaucracy does my head in. I had an interview yesterday for a similar, permanent job, at a place I shall call Alderaan. I am still waiting to hear. I have already had four calls from people wanting to know how I got on, one of them from another candidate who asked for my freelance work should I get the job.

But the clock is ticking and I haven't heard a thing. Back then to Plan B, the one in my heart rather than my head. Muddle along as best I can, working for myself, at home, and not spending too much. As long as Mr Grigg and I can pay the bills, we will be fine.

News from the past week? Well, the oil thief has been apprehended. MDF man saw a police raid outside a council house in the next town. There was a large white van outside full of oil drums, which spilled over into the garden (surely some clue overlooked there, then?). He later spotted the same van on a low-loader being taken off by CSI Dorset for forensic tests.

Mr Grigg has been harvesting a glut of cucumbers, sticking one through Mr St John's letterbox. He attached a note to it saying 'Ooer missus, the martians have landed' and then poked through the Nana Mouskouri CD that Mr St John left on our boat last year. It has been propped up just inside our front door for the last few weeks, bringing scornful looks from visitors who thought it might be ours. I am glad to see the back of it.

Delia the late developer hen has astonished Pelly by going broody so is now in isolation so she doesn't put the others off from laying.

I have bought another 'stand-by' outfit for Number One Daughter's wedding, just in case I change my mind on the charity shop purchase. This will mean buying completely new accessories but hey, the Death Star has just overpaid me, so there is cause to celebrate after all. Particularly as Number One Grand Daughter, aged four, has just told me she is planning to wear her Sportacus outfit instead of a bridesmaid's dress.
But this frugal thing could be going too far. This morning at breakfast, Mr Grigg, looking like Buddha with a towel wrapped around his lower half, was frantically swiping at passing insects with a fly swat. You could see the air being sliced in two, hear the whooshing as he wove in and out.

'What?' he said, looking at me with my mouth agape. 'It's cheaper than a Wii.'

That's about it

Love Maddie x


  1. V plsd to see you're back and in fine form Maddie.
    You'll have to post pics of your outfits and we'll choose the best for you. The sporticus one has potential and beats the knickers of pink merangue!
    Do hope you hear aboot the job soonest.

  2. As I've said before - you live in the most interesting village. I believe that there isn't anything half as interesting as the truth, so I'm betting that it's all real life (names changed to protect the innocent etc)
    You are a gal after my own heart - a back-up outfit.....of course you need one! I'd be glad to give an opinion.

  3. Good luck with getting new permanent work. CSI Dorset made me giggle as did the idea of Sportacus the bridesmaid. Fabulous!

  4. Glad to see you back, Maddie!
    Bloody weddings are looming and I'm still stones heavier than I wanted to be even though I climb a mountain every morning. Glad you have 2 outfits as I have 0!!
    Take care

  5. You've been missed.
    Loved the cheaper version of Wii LOL. It's amazing what we can come up with put to our own frugal devices. Best of luck in landing the new job. You could point out that you are internationally known.

  6. Good to see you back Maddie - have missed your chatty style and the vicarious participation in village life that your blog offers...... Good luck for the job if it's what you want, I am sensing that a working from home option might be your preferred one though!! Lucy

  7. Thanks for all your kind comments. I didn't get the job so the prospect of a completely freelance life a recession! Ha, no worries there then.
    I will try to post pictures of my mother-of-the-bride outfit soon. Jude, you must do the same.


News from The Shed of Dreams, or words to that effect

On Sunday morning, there are two sheep sauntering in a very confident manner down the street. Unfazed by the local peloton of cyclists zoo...