For the love of god, what next?

You know when you have one of those weeks that is just a complete and utter bloody shambles from start to finish? Well I'm having one now. Here are some of the things that have gone tits skyward this week:

1) The washing machine:  a little while ago we started noticing that wet patches were appearing on the edge of the dining room carpet. After eliminating the dog from our enquiries (in a charming process that involved sniffing the offending wet patch to check whether it smelled of dog piss) we decided that the likely culprit was the washing machine. After ignoring the problem for a week or so we lifted the soggy edged carpet in order to replace it (didn't think potential house buyers would be attracted by wet carpet and the smell of damp fabric) but didn't bother lifting the lino in the kitchen. Yesterday the other half decided to take up the kitchen flooring just to check what condition the floor was in underneath it. It would be fair to say that the problem was slightly more extensive than we expected, in the same way that the Titanic was slightly more extensive than an inflatable dinghy. When I removed all the cleaning products and miscellaneous crap that lives under the sink so that we could investigate the pipe connections a further delight awaited me – a family of largish slugs has taken up residence in the cupbaord. Beautiful. My house has been on the market for all of 5 days and now it has an infestation and a bare concrete floor attractively adorned with puddles of standing water and the smell of ancient lino. What housebuyer could ask for more?

2) Inlaws – Last weekend the other half's father and his monosyllabic wife came to stay for the weekend. His dad is a nice chap but at the end of a full week of work you can't really be arsed with visitors over the whole weekend because you get no time to wind down. This is unfortunate because last night his mother announced that she and her busband will be arriving at Casa Disaster tomorrow afternoon. Oh happy days. 2 weekends on the trot of bog all relaxation and this one will involve no sleep as well since her husband has a snore that registers on the Richter scale. Seriously, as you sit there at 4am, staring at the ceiling and marvelling at how the noise seems just as loud through the earplugs that you pinched from work, you can dimly hear the dog shifting about and wimpering because he can't sleep through it either. I can see why people turn to drugs and will this evening be studying the internet to discover exactly how many sleeping tablets you can take before you risk inducing a permanent coma.

3) The computer is fucked. It keeps losing internet connection and crashing. Which coincidentally is something it has in common with my phone that most usefully seems to have stopped receiving calls or texts. Handy eh? If I'd wanted to pay £30 a month for a piece of interestingly shaped plastic I'd have gone to a modern art gallery, not bought a shagging phone. Any minute now I'm going to launch the crappy thing put of the window and kick the computer to pieces.

I am literally one more mini-disaster away from utter meltdown so if you hear the sounds of a distant explosion then don't panic, it's just me losing my temper, nothing to worry about. 

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Our ruling elite

It's long been known that those who are in charge of this country, our government and our MPs, can be a little bit cheeky when putting in the expenses claims, that was no secret at all, but thanks to a whistleblower and the Daily Telegraph the full appalling extent of the wholesale abuse of public funds has been opened up and we are now treated to the unedifying spectacle of many of our MPs grubbing about in the spotlight like woodlice in the sunshine when you pick up a long abandoned brick from the garden. It really isn't at all pretty.

Bearing in mind that the second homes allowance is supposed to provide an MP who lives too far from Westminster to reasonably commute there on a daily basis and 'expenses' are meant to reimburse essential costs incurred by doing one's job, let's have a little look at what has been claimed for shall we?

Oliver Letwin (Chairman of the Conservative's policy team): More than £2000 to replace a leaky pipe under his tennis court. I shit you not, it's true. Now leaving aside the fact that I'm sure it's essential to have your tennis court properly heated so that you can play in your underpants in mid December, why the fuck is the public paying for it? Is tennis an essential part of the job of high level opposition MP? I suspect not and it's just that the cheeky twat is taking the mick.

Alan Duncan (Shadow leader of the House of Commons): Given a warning after attempting to claim more than £7000 in two years for….wait for it…gardening. How lovely, he must live in the hanging gardens of fucking Babylon to require gardening services costing that much. If he can't handle the garden at his house for a reasonable amount, may I politely suggest that he either buys a flat or has the whole damned lot concreted over? Prat.

Gordon Brown (Useless twat): £6777 for cleaning his Westminster flat for 26 months. This works out at £260 a month. Now my mother used to pay her cleaner £25 a week to spend 2 and a half hours making her 4 bedroom family house spotless. This means either Gordon Brown's flat is 2 and half times larger than a 4 bedroom family house, making ita very large flat indeed, or his cleaner was ripping him off. Considering he was the fucking chancellor you'd have thought he'd have worked out that this wasn't good value. Although considering the royal mess he's made of the economy, perhaps not.

Lord Mandelson (Business secretary): Claimed for improvements on his constituency home AFTER he announced he was leaving Parliament to become an EU Commissioner. He then promptly sold the property for a profit of £136000. He insists that he didn't shaft the taxpayer in order to maximise profit on the place. Pull the other Mandy, it's got fucking bells on. On a scale of one to ten would anyone care to hazard a guess as to exactly how stupid Lord M thinks the electorate are?

Barbara Follett (Tourism minister, married to multi-millionaire author Ken Follett): Has claimed over £25000 PER YEAR for 'security patrols' at her London home after she was mugged and apparently also because she opposed apartheid in South Africa 30 odd years ago. While there's no doubt that it's amusing that the tourism minister is so scared of London that she feels the need for security, I can't help thinking that the fact she got mugged might not be anything to do with her being an MP. This assumption is based on the fact that the other however many dozens of people get mugged in London on a daily basis aren't. So therefore the cost of not getting mugged shouldn't be borne by the taxpayer but by either herself or her utterly loaded husband.

There are dozens more examples, including the interesting practice of 'flipping' second homes, i.e. changing what is registered as your second home and what is your main residence allowing the venal bastards to claim expenses for doing up and kitting out more than one property, but I can't be bothered to list them all because it's long and depressing and frankly, just a little bit embarrassing. God knows what the rest of the world thinks about what's going on over here, they must be howling with laughter. The stock excuse for this disgusting display of trough-raiding is that "I was operating within the Commons rules" which in most cases is technically true. This doesn't look quite so impressive as an excuse when you consider who makes the rules and votes on any changes to them. Yep, you guessed it, the rules are made by MPs themselves. And so there we have it ladies and gentlemen, the impressive spectacle of our ruling elite, a collection of a few honest people who want to improve the country and a massive number of mendacious wastes of space whose main concern is ram-raiding the taxpayer and making as much profit as they can in their time in power. Back in the days the French overthrew and executed theirs for less. Come the revolution I don't suppose there's going to be any shortage of members of the public willing to polish the guillotine….

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Swine Flu – I’m ready….

Swine flu – it's all the papers and the radio are full of at the moment. Apparently our government is 'fully prepared' for the outbreak, which as anyone who has lived here for any length of time can tell you is government speak for 'We're utterly fucked'. Since apparently most people in the world are going to die from pig flu because unlike bird flu you don't actually have to sleep with a chicken over a prolonged period in order to catch it, I thought I'd better be prepared for what might happen. So, I sat down to watch the very informative documentary on this subject, "28 Days Later". Although that appeared to be monkey virus, I'm quite sure that the basic principle is the same. Being ahead of the game I know where this is going and am utterly disgusted that the government has not highlighted the upcoming problem of zombies taking over our streets. Now I realise that they are possibly less destructive and more sociable than most British teenagers but I still think a little warning might not have gone amiss. Since the government are being no help whatsoever and are merely going to post us all a leaflet telling us how not to catch flu, I thought I'd make my own plans.

  • I am converting the cupboard under the stairs into a hiding place. I have begun tunnelling into the foundations of the house to make a bigger space as it was a bit cramped with me, the other half and the dog in there, plus 3000 tins of baked beans, a storage tank of water and 2000 bars of soap. There's no need to let hygiene standards slip merely because we are having a crisis. On reflection the beans might not have been the wisest food choice, given the size of our new accomodation but they may have the added bonus of discouraging curious zombies from investigating the cupboard.
  • I have bought 52 packs of barbecue kebab sticks and am sharpening them using my pencil sharpener. Everyone knows that zombies cannot survive a wooden stake through the heart so my kebab sticks will prove an efficient yet cost effective way of dealing with intruders. I originally purchased a sling-shot for firing them but in these days of rising obesity I'm not convinced that this is going to be enough so am scouring Ebay for a second hand harpoon which I will customise to fire the sticks. I may buy a second harpoon that can fire washing-line props for the really morbidly obese zombie.
  • I am training the dog to attack anyone who looks a bit 'undead'. So far he has attacked 2 drunks, the man across the road who works night shifts and a bramble bush but I'm sure he'll get the hang of it eventually.

So as you can see, I have things under control and am ready for the coming apocalypse. Not sure what I'm going to do with 3000 tins of economy brand beans if this all does come to nothing and the dead do not rise up and attack but I'm sure I'll think of something, And a harpoon that fires kebab sticks will always be useful.

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