Friday, December 05, 2008

Boilers, bad reviews and holidays

Bloody British Gas - what a load of c**p they are indeed. Bloody hell, but they said they'd be here at 6pm last night to talk to us about what they were going to do about our heating problem. Well, we waited. And waited. 6.30pm came. We waited. 7pm came. We waited some more - and were then really hungry as we didn't want to eat until after they'd gone. So Lord H finally rang British Gas and asked when their engineer would be arriving. They ummed and ahhed a lot and then said the appointment had been cancelled. Bloody hell!!! Nobody effing told us. Honestly, I have never been sooooo angry. Or at least not for quite some time. Lord H then asked them to call the engineer to see what he was going to do. The operator said she'd do that and would get the engineer to ring us back as a matter of urgency. No apology was given at all. So we ate, with the trusty portable heaters on and waited for the engineer's call. Um, we waited. And waited. And actually we're still waiting today. The words "no", "chance" and "bloody" spring to mind. Use your own sentence order ...

In the meantime, we've given up on British Gas (AKA Bunch of No-Good Tossers) and have instead rung a local plumbing firm so we can at least have the system power-flushed in an attempt to give us more heat. Of course, being on holiday next week does put the proverbial spanner in my now rapidly diminishing hopes to have warmth over Christmas, but the local plumber says he'll ring us next Friday when we're back and then come round that day. We live in hope. Of a sort. Though I must admit to feeling very depressed (as well as downright furious) about it all. We're just the little guys - they don't give a f**k about us.

On top of that, the mice are back and have now decided to attack the kitchen. Honestly, I know it's stupid but I feel totally powerless in our own flat. Last night, the little buggers managed to destroy my tupperware box of cashews by the simple method of chewing a hole in it. God, but they must have teeth like razors. They also destroyed my seeds collection so that's been chucked now. I've attempted to put everything I possibly can in the fridge, but Lord knows whether my cereals or mince pies will survive the holiday. (Our cupboards don't shut terribly well.) I'm only hoping the wretched beasts don't chew through a cable and set fire to the place while we're away. That's all we'd bloody need. In the meantime, we've put more poison down in the kitchen and this time it's war. I'm taking no prisoners.

Oh, and there are three bad reviews today. Thankfully only two of them are mine. First off is the Maloney's Law review I didn't have the guts to link to when it came through a couple of weeks ago. Well, now I'm beyond caring so it's bad, it's bitter (well, to me) and it's here. And yes it hurts. The way I feel today though she's probably right and I should just give up and stick to being a secretary. I know I'm good at that. Anyway, that review made today's bad review seem like a stroll in the park. You can find this second one over here. Hey ho. At least they seemed to like Paul. Sort of. God, but I'm glad I'm on holiday soon - never mind rolling with the punches. I'd just like them to stop for a while until I can get my breath back. Thank the Lord that my Amazon reviewers seem to like my foolish attempts at a novel - where would I be without them?...

The third bad review is about the book I've just finished, so I can turn my understandable gall upon another luckless author, ho ho. Not that she cares two hoots about me as I'm sure she's laughing all the way to the proverbial, but I do have to say - for what it's worth - that I think even I write better than she does: The Scandal of the Season by Sophie Gee is one of the most boring and badly written novels I've ever read - astonishingly dull. It's a marvel indeed that with such potentially wonderful characters and plot the author still managed to make both storyline and people so very flat and lifeless. That said, Gee appears to wake up when she writes the sex scenes - they're really the only scenes worth reading, though sadly they don't appear very often. I gave up halfway through and just skim-read whilst sighing a lot. It strikes me, in fact, that what we have here is not a novel at all - but a screenplay that can only take on energy when you see it acted. I would advise Gee to explore that route and not to write another novel. Either that or stick to the erotic writing only. Hell, maybe I'll take that advice too. You never know.

God though, but I feel cleansed. I think my Book Bitch points are rising, Carruthers. Good-oh. Anyway, this morning, Marian and I have gone golfing, which was great though we were neither of us very good. It didn't matter - it was fun and it didn't rain, so we were happy. Plus my shoulder didn't twinge at all, even though I used the wood from the tee, so that was a relief.

For the rest of the day, I've been adding more to Hallsfoot's Battle and am now at 64,000 words or so. I'm still on the same scene with Simon and Gelahn, but it's going to be a key one so I just have to roll with it until it ends. C**p writer or no c**p writer. Hell, at least I'm using the alphabet. People should be grateful. If I wasn't writing, I might be out adding to the body count of Godalming, and God alone knows where that might end ...

Tonight, I'll be packing ready for our week's holiday winter birding here and stuffing as many jumpers, fleeces, hats, scarves, thermal underwear and gloves into my case as I can. Oh and mustn't forget the binoculars. God but I need the break, I can tell you.

But before I go, here's this morning's meditation poem:

Meditation 18

From the simple shape
of one golden bull

flowed laughter,
dancing, sex,

song and celebration,
then blood,

disease’s deep release, sweat,
and the lingering smell

of death.
Even so many years on

it clings to me still.

Lordy, how cheery indeed. Anyway, sorry about the bile. It's just how it is. I hope you all have a great week (including me, please God) and I'll catch up with you next weekend.

Today's nice things:

1. Writing more of Hallsfoot
2. Golf
3. Poetry.

Anne Brooke
Anne's website - down but not (quite yet) out ...


Nik Perring said...

Ick. Lousy day then? Chin up - and at least the reviews aren't damning (though I can see why they'd hurt).



Anne Brooke said...

I know! Roll on my holiday ...




Jilly said...

Anne - beware of power flushing - this may be an expensive waste of time. Someone tried to sell us this at close to £500 when there is NOTHING wrong with our heating system! (house was 5 years old at the time) Fortunately our own boiler man - in the business 30 years CORGI registered etc etc said he had never done a power flush or felt one was needed in all that time.
Sounds as though you're having a bad time and I hope you enjoy your holiday. Hugsxx

Anne Brooke said...

Oh Lordy - but apparently there's so much sludge in it that they have to do it before they even think about a new boiler, Jilly - don't forget how old everything is here!

We'll see what the guy thinks next week - that is, if this one manages to turn up. To be honest, I get depressed just thinking about it now. Sigh ...



Peter said...


Don't let the buggers get you down. Your writing has inspired me. Have a good week and we'll see you next weekend.

Anne Brooke said...

Thanks, Peter! So looking forward to our holiday and our day with you & Sue - and the birds! Makes mental note to wrap those presents ...



Anonymous said...

Don't worry, Anne, success is the sweetest revenge.

Have a great holiday!


Anne Brooke said...

True, Vicki! Hope you're doing well over there - write loads!




litlove said...

First of all I hope you have a wonderful holiday - sounds like what you really need is to just get away from it all. But I deeply sympathise about British Gas, who deserve every expletive one can dream up, and about the reviews (which aren't awful - in fact they say lots of good things too). I remember coming across a terrible review of one of my academic books at 11pm when I was on my own.... Not my finest hour. Writers weren't built to read reviews, I reckon, and I've decided now not to read any more of my own. I can live without praise so long as I can live without censure!


Anne Brooke said...

Thanks, LL - I certainly did! Now back to no water, we've flooded the neighbour below and the firemen had to come to rescue him while we were away. However we do now have electricity but it's dodgy! Today will be spent attempting to get things mended or moving into a hotel!!


Love & hugs to you - and those reviewers were obviously insane.