Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Change of Address

I've changed my address. I no longer live at Carters Barn in the lovely Wiltshire countryside. I now reside at twenty seven Catastrophe Mansions, Disaster Avenue, Slough of Despond, Hades.

There's a rule of life that says If Something Can Go Wrong, It Will.  So if a fire is going to break out, it will do so a week before Christmas when your rellies are about to arrive, and your decorations are just going up.

I also find that one never looks one's best when a burly fireman is bursting through the front door, hose in hand. I love a man in uniform as I think I've said before, and yet when you should be wearing your best Nigella style black satin dressing gown, floating back elegantly from the kitchen, wodge of chocolate cake in hand, you find yourself in fact wearing your slightly shrunk in the wash cotton nightie, a pair of wellies, and a dog walking coat that's let's face it has seen better days. No make up and a hair style reminiscent of Bill Clinton's worst excesses, where the hair appears to be growing at an angle perpendicular to the head. I'd jumped out of bed and grabbed the first thing to hand before dialling 999. And thank goodness for the Swindon Fire Brigade, and the Cricklade Retained Fire Service. Lovely men, fantastic service. Could not have asked for more. Thanks guys.

I can see the funny side of this now, but only because no one was hurt, thank goodness, when an ember set fire to a log basket in the early hours, and I know that the damage can all be put right. The man from NFU was quick and helpful, and we just have to find a carpet fitter, a decorator, and a builder who can restore us to some normality this side of Christmas. "Stuff" is all replaceable. The only thing I was really upset about was a little thing that's not reallly replaceable

My children made a set of partridges/doves/calling birds(not quite sure which)  many years ago from card and tinsel, following instructions from  Blue Peter, and I have brought them out every Christmas since. So I was particularly sad to see that they had gone in the fire, all but this little charred remain. But I will continue to treasure this single  little partridge/dove/calling bird with it's singed tail as a reminder of good fortune, and wait until my grandchildren are old enough to make me another set. Things could have been a lot, lot worse. So maybe it's not quite Catastrophe Mansions, maybe it's more like twenty seven Lucky Lane, Therebut-Forfortune, Wiltshire.

Black satin on the Christmas list maybe?

PS Please check your smoke alarm batteries, they could save your life.

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