Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Fish Poo Stew

I'm supposed to be out shopping for an outfit to wear to various weddings and events this summer, but instead, I'm lurking at home suffering from a stomach upset. It's probably to do with the weekend, well, definitely it is. There are so many culprits over the past three days I can't be sure whether it's bad chinese food, alcohol, playing in the dirt (I'll get to that in a minute) or scoffing loads of white chocolate maltesers and a white chocolate maltesers ice cream. I do love white chocolate maltesers, and as a demonstration of how sick I'm feeling, I had some left, but threw them in the bin this morning as I can't bear to look at them.

Mr F and I were due to go out with a friend (whose hubby is working away) for a chinese on Friday, but a frantic phone call that afternoon revealed she'd got home to find the pump in the fish pond wasn't working. This is a big deal cos they have lots of expensive koi carp, who are breeding. So we went over to assist after realising she was tired, emotional, and playing with electricity and water trying to get the pump started. At 7.30 Mr F was up to his thighs in pooey pond water scaring the koi, and at 8.00 we gave up and decided new parts were in order, which would be available from the garden centre on Sunday. I can't help much with these practical things, so I just sat and watched them wade around in the pond. Shame.

On Saturday one of my mates in Leicester had a 30th birthday do. We went to a chinese all-you-can-eat buffet who had cunningly declared they were accessible to get our business - not according to the two wheelies present they weren't anyway. Luckily where were people in the party who were able to lift us over the step, which was twice as chunky monster bastard as the one at the hotel in Brighton. A big crowd gathered, and we did a few royal waves. On occasions like these I try to imagine I'm just employing an entourage, which helps make me feel less self concious... The rest of the evening passed in a blur, so I think it was good. I remember the manager looking horrified as myself and my friend asked him to help carry us to the toilets "and you'll have to help us on too, you know..." (as they didn't, after all their claims, have accessible loos), but we were joking. He probably didn't see the funny side, nor believe us when we said we were disability access inspectors, but maybe he'll remember telling people your restaraunt is accessible - when it is not - means drunken disabled patrons will take advantage of your lies and riot on you.

Mr F stayed at home, won a large sum of money in a poker game and played paintaball on Sunday morning.

We're turning into poker fiends, but that's another story.

Sunday day brought the trip home for me. In the afternoon there was another attempt by Mr F and Kate to fix the pump. A new motor was put in. More pond wading. It all got very complicated, and once again I was completely no help. Kate kept apologising for wasting our time, in between her and Mr F getting covered in fish poo. The pump was absolutely full of the evil stuff, so to keep my hangover in check and forget about being as much use as a chocolate teapot, I sat on the expansive gravel path and tried to find something to do. I started collecting suitably shaped stones to make a piece of art on a big slab of stone by the path. I was trying to make myself scarce, really. When you are unable to do practical fish poo projects, feighing interest only gets the people struggling to do the job more fed up. For them, nothing seems to work, your 'helpful' comments fail to have any impact (being based on sheer lack of insight), and you are dry and clean to top it all off.

First I did a sun. Started out with a small circle and surrounded it with swirly rays. It didn't look right with the rays, so I made it a bit bigger. Kate looked up at me. "You're a 35 year old child" she said. It's true. I am. The afternoon sun was hot on my back. The sky was blue. There was a gentle breeze. 30 feet away from me two, people were wading around the pond frantically seeking precious parts of the pump mechanism that someone had dropped into the deep end, and I couldn't do a damn thing about it. Time like this I realise disability has its up sides too.

I did a bird next. This was more difficult because there wasn't was much room left on the stone, and I needed smaller pieces. In retrospect, complaining loudly about this was a mistake compared with the dramas happening over in the pond. Shouts of disbelief and a few sludgy weeds were thrown in my general direction, forcing me to retreat to a patch of lawn further away and go to sleep. The bird could have had more detail in it but it just wasn't worth the hassle. Mr F wearily crawled home, trailed fish poo around the bathroom, got into bed, and fell asleep til Monday afternoon, whereupon we tried to eat our own body weight in various chocolate confectionary.

Woke up this morning feeling extremely rough after three days of eating and sitting around playing in the gravel. So as you can see, there could be several culprits for my stomach upset. Funny what bank holidays do to you. Always need another one straight after. Watching others work, or supervising as it is also known, is a role I seldom refuse.

The pump still isn't fixed, and tonight is round three. I might stay at home this time. I hope they don't scatter my artwork.


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