My downpour started when Helios’s cheek started to swell. He’s had an abscess that was terribly infected. He even had time off work – which in my house means he’s seriously/obviously ill because he almost never has time off work! Poor chap. He looked a bit like a hamster who’d got a ping-pong ball caught in his cheek! Luckily the dentist was good. Helios got antibiotics quickly and had the work done over a couple of weeks.
Now, the finance side of UK Dentistry needs explaining. Most dentists have a private practice. Some dentists do NHS work but most don’t. I have therefore always gone to a private dentist and paid extortionate fees basic work. When Helios and I got together, he came to my dentist. He’s now got a significant bill coming from them.
In the meantime, I’ve spoken to W at work and discovered an NHS dentist near home so I registered both Helios and myself today. I’m still not entirely sure how much payments will cost but I’m hoping it will be significantly less than the place we’re at now! I’ve got my first appointment at the new place on 7th January so I’ll keep you posted.
Also, my fridge/freezer has been beeping and beeping for almost a year. When this happened before I just got it fixed and within a couple of months it was beeping again. Including the call-out charge, it cost about £100 the last time I got it fixed. Well, I decided that I wouldn’t get it fixed again because I don’t want to throw good money after bad. I figure I can get a decent new one for between £200 – £300. Luckily, the fridge died in a time of year that I can leave cold foods on the porch and the milk in the beer fridge with no fear that my food will spoil.
Once I realised that the fridge/freezer was officially dead I poured the liquid from a stew into the toilet. Well, of course some of the bits fell in as well but I didn’t think they’d be too big as I flushed the toilet. Sure enough, there was a blockage but since it occurred at the weekend, and my plumber would have charged extra for coming out at the weekend, I peed in a bucket over that weekend. It was horrible! On Monday I called out the plumber who charged £75 + VAT to fix my stupid mistake. I suppose I should be grateful that it didn’t take long to fix!
A couple of months ago a woman hit my car and left a note on my windscreen. Since then I’ve got quotes and had some email discussions with her. Since then, I’ve had the work done and got a copy of the invoice (marked as paid) and forwarded this to her. I’ve had a promise by email that she’d pay but so far no cheque. She’s a doctor so I suspect she’s good for it… Fingers crossed I don’t have to take her to small claims court!
Once again, I am grateful to Helios. He has a background in, amongst other things, telecoms thanks to his time serving with the RAF. When our phone and internet went down he did a bit of “faultfinding”, told them where the trouble was and told them to get an engineer out to the exchange. We’ve gone for a number of days now with no internet access. Needless to say, being a red-headed Scorpio he’s not taken the waiting very well. He said to the company yesterday “I’m the one that’s done the faultfinding! As far as I’m aware, I’ve done more to get this sorted than you. I did your faultfinding for you. I’ve told you where to send the engineer. Have you rung an engineer to sort it out?” Because he kicked up suck a stink, he’s got a rebate which will, no doubt, get larger and larger the longer we have to wait to be reconnected to the outside world!
Mom, you’ll be disappointed to hear that I’ve got lichen planus again. I first noticed it under my arms a few months ago and tried some hydrocortisone on it. Unfortunately it’s only spread in the past few months. It’s on my back, my legs, my ankles, my arms and it’s beginning to creep around my stomach. I have always had skin problems. I think I’m right in remembering that I first got lichen planus when I was a young teenager – 13 or 14. I didn’t have it for a number of years but it appears now to be back with a vengeance. So, I went to the GP again for it on 29th November and (luckily) didn’t have to demand to see a dermatologist. As I’ve opted to go private, I will still have to pay the first £100 for treatment. I think it’s worth having the option to go for private treatment (i.e. outside the NHS) so I don’t have to wait for several months to see someone.
Helios was making me an omelette for breakfast the other morning when the fry pan handle broke off. We just looked at each other and he said “That’s just the way our luck is going at the moment, isn’t it?” The good news is that I’ve found a good but cheap pan on sale for the princely sum of £6.74. At least that didn’t cost a fortune to fix!
Last week we got a couple of inches of snow over a couple of days. Now, if I still lived in the Midwest US, I wouldn’t expect this to slow me down or any schools to close. However, here it’s an entirely different story.
Firstly, where I come from there are no hills. If you slide off a road, chances are you won’t total your car because you’ll just slide onto some grass and then back onto the road. There are a LOT of hills here and all of them have a number of cars at the bottom, all abandoned at crazy angles.
Secondly, where I come from there are more than enough gritters/ploughs and the weather is tackled with military precision. The roads aren’t always cleared within hours but there is the comforting sight of ploughs and gritters tackling the weather on your behalf.
So the weather tale of last week starts on Tuesday afternoon. Snow had been forecast for a number of days and it was finally arriving. I was panicking a little because I still had the courtesy car from the menders. Although it was a nice courtesy car, it wasn’t my car and I wasn’t happy about getting stuck with a car that wasn’t mine! I drove out to the menders to deliver their car, collect mine and pay the invoice. On the way back to the office the snow was coming down and I seemed to be sliding every which way. I was decidedly stressed by the time I got back to the office! The snow kept coming all that afternoon and we were told to go home early that evening. I walked back to the car and found a huge traffic jam any which way I would want to go to leave town so I left the car and walked to the train station. The journey home was delightful. The snow was fresh and powdery. The walk from the station was peaceful. I really enjoyed the walk that night.
The next morning, the conditions were treacherous and I took the train the rest of the week! Unfortunately, the trains weren’t exactly reliable but, lucky for me, my work insisted that we go if we were at all concerned about travelling. I decided to take advantage of their generosity even if it meant making up the time. The trains were, for the most part, over an hour late most of the time and, after that first night, walking on the pavements was (and still is) painfully treacherous. There is still a large amount of compacted ice on most walking surfaces even though the roads are now, for the most part, clear. It’s more than a little crazy.
Saturday the temperatures weren’t nearly as cold and Helios and I travelled into town to rescue my newly mended car. While I know I grew up in the Midwest , I’m really not accustomed to driving on frozen and compacted snow anymore so I was a little nervous about getting home again. Luckily the procedure proceeded with no unforeseen problems and my little car is at home now safe and sound.
The winter tale will, no doubt get crazier as the winter progresses but for now, with the majority of the snow melted in this part of the country, it’s a closed chapter.