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Stroppy Knickers’ Progress: Part One

12 April 2010

After a week of discomfort at a friend’s grotty but vacant flat in Hampshire, finally the BIG DAY arrived! We’re off to Malta!!

I woke at the crack of dawn as planned and drove to my ex-partner’s house with Mum and The Dog safely tucked up in the car, so that he could drive us up to Heathrow in time to have The Dog checked into cargo at Swissport, Short Road, Heathrow for 07:15 “at the latest”. I’d imagined queues of nervous Pet Parents lining up to deposit their cherished four-legged friends, but we were alone and checked in quickly with hours to spare before our 10:50 Air Malta flight from Terminal 4. After waiting for check-in to open for what seemed like hours, it was off to check in at the Special Assistance area to claim Mum’s wheelchair, then through security with no security check, just a brief glimpse at our passports and through to the Departure lounge.

I shopped, of course.

Mario had already rung me and told me how, sadly, he’d been unable to buy me anything suitable as a gift during his trip overland, and I should get myself “something nice” from him at the airport. Carte blanche, that’s the way to do it, I thought… and I happily spent a couple of hundred in the Clarins section of Duty Free, on my Husband. Life is good.

Our flight was delayed by about 20 minutes, and aside from gasping for a ciggie, it was all easy going.

We arrived almost on time on an eventless flight, and after collecting the luggage and finding out where to collect Joe, I was met by my frantic Husband who announced, “The f—ing plumber hasn’t been, we’ve got no bogs or anything!” (Deep joy.) So on the way to collect Joe we had a moment or two to bicker cheerfully about how easy it is for men to piddle anywhere, while women invariably get wet ankles and how I was absolutely NOT going to rent another little holiday flat and throw more money down the drain so he had better phone the “f—ing plumber” and get it sorted.

My little man aka Joe MacGregor aka The Dog, was sitting hunched miserably in his sky crate waiting for his Mummy to rescue him from the big-bad-car-in-the-sky place, bless his little curly heart… and Mummy screeched “JoeGeeeeee” and “Where’s Mummy’s big boy?” just loud enough for most of Malta to sit up and pay attention to the arrival of the Tabone Family.

The vet was lovely, he checked Joe’s passport, located his identichip and sent us on the way 44 euros lighter but smiling regardless of the “f—ing plumbing” situation.

We spent the rest of the evening discussing how best to drop the absent plumber in boiling oil, and cheerfully blew up the airbeds in preparation for a very long night trying to pee quietly in a bucket and periodically whispering obscenities in the general direction of anyone unfortunate enough to be a bloody plumber.

But it WAS sunny.

13 April 2010

07:30 and there is an almighty crash, bang, wallop. The plumber has arrived! In the nick of time too! I was just about to spend another penny in the bucket, hoping nobody thought I had an old carthorse tucked away up here… again.

He worked solid until 15:30 and we have bathrooms. Two of them. Two toilets, anyway and a shower and a hand basin, and a gas boiler. Life is good. But we are all totally shagged, and having crossed our legs for hours there is a queue for the toilets… I’m proud to announce I used them both first, though not at the same time! Yay for me!

The Family has been popping in all day, bringing gifts of food and toilet paper amongst other things, and we can make endless cups of tea… Yes, life is good.

AND it was sunny again!

15 April 2010

The internal doors have arrived and they’re bloody gorgeous. I’m glad we got the ash doors, they’re going to really make this place look something special… well, when the carpenters get them fitted they will.

Lots of banging and Maltese-style shouting later, Bodgeit and Leggit have left and they’ve made a right pig’s ear out of framing my doors! One of them was still pissed from the night before and spent four hours sleeping in his van because he “felt sick” and I’m flabbergasted… there is not a single thing I can say “Wow” about apart from the doors themselves, the “carpenters” aren’t bloody carpenters at all, they’re bloody butchers or something and of course, we’ve complained bitterly and refused to pay until they send us a proper tradesman to fix the cock-ups the bodgers have made, which won’t be until Monday at the earliest… I have a feeling this could run for weeks.

At least we have bathrooms! And hot water!

The gas boiler hasn’t a chimney so the utility is full of carbon monoxide, but it won’t kill us, right? I’m just being picky now, eh? *eyeroll*

At least it’s been sunny!

Read Part Two

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