Ok, ok, ok - I was resisting but I give in as I have been tagged twice!
Here is my contribution to the latest MeMe doing the rounds:
What was I doing ten years ago?
It was all very romantic, you know. Ten years ago, the bank and I bought a house together. From a dead person who, very sadly, had lain undiscovered for about two weeks with both gas fires on. Yes, it was the smell that alerted my neighbours to his expired state. For the record, I did not know this before I bought my house; my neighbours all fell over themselves to tell me afterwards. No I do not know which room he died in and no, I do not ever want to know – after all, I was the person who sanded all my floors.
The romance does not end there. Around May-June, my first ever house was completely uninhabitable and I was living in a caravan. I was trying to come and go from my house (to do and inspect work in progress) without being spotted by my neighbours.
Well, they were not really speaking to me. On one side, my neighbour was obliged to cut down a favourite tree because its roots were attacking my drains and house foundations (it took me over two years to battle its dead roots out of the ground). On the other side? Well, my builders set fire to their house - on April 1st, no less. This had something to do with highly flammable damp proofing chemicals, holes drilled accidentally all the way through a wall and a fully functioning, floor mounted gas boiler on the other side.
The good news was that my neighbour was in. So the alarm was raised immediately, they got their pets out and my builders managed to switch off the gas at the mains before the fire got out of control and razed the entire terrace to the ground. The Fire Brigade said that the fire, fuelled by their gas supplier, would have taken no more than 5 minutes to reach that sort of ferocity. By the time that I got there (yes, I did think it was an April Fools prank until I heard the sirens in the background), the neighbour was handing out mugs of tea and biscuits to firemen with hands that were visibly shaking. Her husband was frothing at the mouth, with hamster cheeks (courtesy of a root canal procedure earlier that day), and literally hopping with rage on their front doorstep. I had never seen anyone actually hop with rage before.
The bad news, which may have been a very small part of his ire, was that the fire happened the day after my neighbours had put their freshly painted house on the market and it was just at the start of the Easter school holiday - so a family of 5, plus three small dogs found themselves out on the pavement, sitting on suitcases packed with smoky clothing.
So, neighbourly relations were a little strained? Ten years on (once that family had moved), I am delighted to say that I am on good speaking terms with my neighbours and in fact, I count myself very lucky to have such decent people living in at least three houses, in both directions.
What 5 non work things am I doing today?
Speak to the Fella who is up in Liverpool on business (he is here again this week), try not to eat too much food (too late), try not to drink any alcohol, do some match administration and weave in some ends on a project.
What snacks do I enjoy?
I am not really allowed snacks. Let me rephrase that, after my very strict diet last year I try my best not to let myself down and snack. Try being the operative word - my weaknesses are:
- a big mug of black coffee made with Monmouth Street Coffee Company coffee
- a very cold glass of chardonnay (or three)
- a Rye Finn crisp bread (or 10)
- a matchbox size piece of cheese (or 2)
- a Haribo Star Mix jelly sweet stolen from a packet left open on a colleague’s desk.
What things would I do if I was a billionaire?
Give it all away to achieve world peace and happiness? Sadly, I do not think that a mere billion would be enough to make that happen, otherwise I would consider it.
I cannot fib and say that my life would remain the same. It is likely that I would resign from my job, pay off my mortgage and then leave things a while to settle. After that, I would retrain to do something I truly enjoyed. I would travel a little to see the things I have always wanted to see but never thought I would be able to afford to visit. I would take care of my family and I would employ someone qualified to help with financial management. As part of this, I would expect to identify ventures to invest in, or causes to donate money to, where I feel that my contribution will make a direct positive difference.
Yes, it’s low key but I just don't have a body that would look good in a bikini, sprawled across the deck of an oversized boat - I'd look like a cooked lobster. Mind you, I might not entirely rule out the purchase of an decent apartment in a ski resort. Or possibly - just the purchase of a house where a body was not scraped off the floor before I bought it?!
What places have I lived in?
London, Wales, Scotland and Italy.
What jobs have I had?
I have answered this before – my career history is very dull, so I’ll pass!
Which people do I tag?
The majority of you have already done this. However if you have not and you read this, consider yourself tagged! Let me know whether you are taking part and I'll pop over to read what you have written!