take one woman with low self esteem, but quite good hair
add one moronic illness
stir in some medication which causes hair to fall out
mix it all up and this is what you get...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

28 days later 

Yesterday: thirty-six lengths.

Of which, twelve non-stop.

Mostly breaststroke (I might remind you that I could barely do a single length of this stroke four weeks ago).

I can't believe how much I've improved.

And that's before I even had my first swimming improvement session with my private tutor.

And you know what? I really enjoy it. It feels good.

It took me a long time to enjoy running, and even then, I was never entirely sure that I was enjoying it. Certainly not all the time. I usually dreaded a run beforehand, encountered highs and lows during and relief and euphoria afterwards. Of course, on balance, I miss it. I miss the fresh air, the unjumblement of the mind, the clearing of the lungs, that satisfying buzz in the muscles.

But I really look forward to my swims. The pleasurable sensation of moving through the water. The tangible feeling of wellbeing afterwards.

One of the many things I've envied in others, one of the many things I thought I just couldn't do, one of the many things that scared me: I'm now doing it.

Not particularly fast, not particularly well, not particularly stylishly.

But I'm doing it.

For once, I'm very, very pleased with myself.

Monday, September 10, 2007

I am surrounded by idiots 

Exhibit A

I receive a voicemail message from an estate agent.

"Hello, this is a message for Ms Anx. I'm calling from the office of [estate agent] in [town several miles away from Southampton]. I know you registered with our Southampton office, but I wondered if you'd consider a property in [town several miles away from Southampton]. It's on a new development called [some stupid new-development type name] and [bla bla bla bla bla]..." by which point, I'd stopped listening.

You see, when we'd registered with [estate agent], we had been careful to provide them with a printed list of our details, financial arrangements and requirements for a house.

Under the list of "must haves", the very first and most prominent item was:

"Within walking distance of [Big's school] - i.e. one and a half mile radius"

Big's school is in Southampton. Hence, our registering with Southampton agents.

Further down the list was:

"Older property"

Oh dear.
(Though at least he didn't describe the property as "all up together...")

Exhibit B

I receive a letter from our Mortgage company.

"Dear Ms Anx and Mr Big

I am writing to you as we have been notified by your insurance company, [stupid insurance company], that they have not received the renewal premium for your buildings insurance.

To update our records we require you to send us a copy of your policy schedule to the above address noting [stupid mortgage company] as a joint policyholder and a minimum sum assured of [some random amount that we've just made up which seems to bear no relation to anything]. Please make sure that your mortgage account number is clearly stated so that we can update our records.

Under the terms of the Mortgage Deed, you must ensure that continous insurance is in place. Please give this matter your urgent attention.

An administration fee of £25.00 is charged to all customers who change their insurance providers. Please arrange to forward this amount to us with your new insurance schedule.

If you have any queries on this matter, please contact us on the number below, quoting your mortgage account number.

Yours sincerely

[printed name in silly font, supposed to be a signature]

[name of probably non-existent person]"

An interesting letter to receive when you consider that the mortgage in question was paid off in full three days before the date of the letter and the insurance policy was only cancelled after confirmation that the mortgage had been paid off and that the insurance company were informed of the reason for the cancellation (i.e. we neither own nor live in the property any more).

A double whammy of incompetence, both from the mortgage company itself and the insurance company for "telling on us".

Needless to say, I shan't be paying their £25.00 administration fee.

Exhibit C

I receive a letter from the company handling our new mortgage application.

"Dear Ms Anx and Mr Big

[bla bla received mortgage application bla bla bla]

We require the following information:

The National Insurance number for Ms Anx
The National Insurance number for Mr Big

[bla bla bla]"

I can actually picture these very pieces of information being written down by our mortgage advisor as we sat in her office filling in the application form. How they failed to get passed on, I have no idea, but I'm guessing the word "incompetence" may come into it.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Deep breath... here goes 



What a difference several months and a cytotoxic drug make!

nb: my hair is not actually green. The light was a bit funny... honest!

Monday, September 03, 2007

In lieu of a proper post... 

... I bring you an unordered list of utter guff including the excessive use of exclamation marks.