Sunday, June 25, 2006

Well the weekend started with a rarity indeed in my life, good financial news; although this particular episode began with bad news landing on the doorstep in the shape of the water bill.

We pay our water by direct debit and we have a water meter which I knew had been read the previous week. We were already paying £57 a month which seemed a fuck of a lot of money for a three bedroomed house...and yes, we are careful, turning off the tap whilst teeth cleaning is second nature for us and bath water gets shared. So I was not happy when I read they wanted to increase our bills to £70 a month. For a few days I did nothing as it seemed like it would be a waste of a phone call but something did make me ring with a view to asking them not to increase it quite so much. Anyway, the man I spoke to asked if I was the only occupant of the house and when I said not he said I was on some special rate for single people. By recalculating the bill he had in front of him for the past six months I was in credit, and he said he would cut the payments to £47 a month. I was happy and put the phone down. I reflected on the conversation. I rang back. It had occured to me we had probably always been on the single occupancy rate.

To cut a long story short the second man I spoke to could only see the bills for the past three years but on that basis alone they owe us over £400. We have lived here for six years. With a holiday approaching the timing of this discovery is simply fantastic.

School fete first as chair of governors. I had visions of me dressed in twinset and pearls snipping a ribbon and graciously declaring 'This school fete open'. How times have changed. In fact I found myself stuck in a set of stocks and having wet sponges chucked at me. Very bloody hilarious. So much for dignity and decorum. But hey, it is for 'charadee'....three throws for a pound and it felt as though I was single handedly raising enough to pay for the building of a new classroom.

I came home to cook a roast dinner. Now I pride myself on my yorkshire puddings as Mr Yorkshire Pudding will be pleased to hear. I use half a strong bread flour, half plain and very fresh farm eggs....fabby but yesterday nothing at all was happening to the pudding I could see through the oven window. This was a mystery. I looked. I looked again. I looked again for luck. Nothing but mixture in a tin just lying there flat. I eventually noticed that the potatoes which I had been 'par-boiling' and had thought I had turned off, had cooked down to mush soft enough for baby food. I had thought I had turned them off ages ago. Ah. Note to self. Yorkshire pudding will not cook, no matter how fine the mixture, if the oven is turned off.

Today I again place my lovelife in jeopardy by watching England play with Reidski. Blood may be spilt before the day is out. It would be quite nice if England started playing good fotball today. Some of us at least live in hope....


The Fatalist said...

Ha! The wet sponges. f I was back at primary school (in the mid seventies) I'd have felt short changed if there was the chair of governors in the stocks. Who on earth was, or what was a governor anyway? As if we knew! We all dashed over to spend our five pence for three sponges, or whatever it was, when one of the teachers went in. The euphoria when you hit the bullseye, that's slpa, bang in the mush. And the pain when you missed and wasted your precious pocket money!
I also used to like those crockery, smash the china, type stalls. don't suppose health and safety allow those now.

Moo said...

I used to love school fetes, my nan used to take us every summer and buy loads of goodies!! Sounds like you were having fun...or should I say the kids were having the last laugh?! x

Arthur Clewley said...

why does a single person's litre of water cost more than a family's litre of water? At least your own admirable frugality with water in the house allows all the more to be available be soaked on sponges and chucked at you by schoolkids. That's kind of poetic don't you think?

Yorkshire Pudding said...

COOKING NOTE:- If you want a Yorkshire Pudding to rise it's best to do your cooking in the nude... failing that ask your mother to come round! Always ensure that there is sufficient "rising room" so that the Yorkshire Pudding doesn't damage the oven ceiling.

The Moy said...

What's your recipe for Yorkshire Pudding? (I love it.)

J.J said...

To be honest Fatalist, I think it was more the idea of getting Hannah's mum which appealed...nothing to do with me being a govenor.

Oh Moo, the junk we came back with! Unbelievable...but we did get a very tasty cake.

Ah yes, Anglia Water did attempt to explain why one rate is good for one person but absolutley crippling for a family but I was too busy reeling at how much I had been overcharged to take it all in. And yes, quite poetic!

Y.P. Inthe nude??? Are you sure that wouldn't turn the milk sour?

The Moy..My first ever cookery post! I can't do this in metric but to feed 6: 3ozs bread flour, 3ozs plain flour, 2 large eggs, half pint semi skimmed milk, salt and pepper. Sieve flour, make a well for the eggs and gradually mix in eggs and milk. I use olive oil in the pan but whatever fat you put in make sure it is very hot before adding the mixture and cook about half an hour at 200c. To be really traditional cook it around the roast beef...yum!Keeping the oven switched on during cooking is highly recommended!

JoeinVegas said...

"Keeping the oven switched on is highly recommended!"

That might be a good first sentence for any cookbook.

"And cook in the nude" (except for bacon I hear)

Sorry I missed a chance at the sponges. You must have looked loverly in the stocks.

J.J said...

Joe, I don't think 'loverly' is an entirely accurate description!