River Wissey Lovell Fuller


January 2018


I am writing this article a couple of weeks before Christmas. We are living in absolute chaos, preparing to move house in January and February (Yes, a two phase move!), assuming we manage to exchange contracts before then, surrounded by packing cases and furniture all in the wrong places. I still have my desk and my computer in their usual places, so all is well with the world. Not having moved house for 40 years, the whole process has come as a terrible shock to the system, not helped by the fact that I have to protect my tender current (4th) artificial hip and cannot bend or lift. Management will tell anyone who will listen that I am a control freak who firmly believes that all committees should have one member and that everyone should get a second opinion, especially when it is mine! Absolute tosh, of course. However, there may be an element of truth because the most stressful part of the whole process has, for me, been the lack of control over events. Having eventually found a buyer and bringing the process towards exchange of contracts, everything has ground to a halt because the pack sent by the buyers' solicitors to the buyers has got lost in the post. They have now sent out a replacement pack, not by Hermes or next day guaranteed delivery, but by snail mail! As the solicitors will all close for nearly a fortnight over the holiday period, I would like exchange of contracts to have happened before then but it is a process over which I have no control. However, it doesn't stop me telephoning all the parties daily and, no, I am not a control freak. I hear your screams of “He's in denial”. We have bought a new house on a new estate in Hagley, Worcestershire. All the other new residents have formed a Whats-App group on their telephones. As were were founder members, we have watched the number of members grow as people move in to the new houses. Messages deal with the modern equivalents of “Can we borrow a bag of sugar”, “Should we hold a street party?” etc. but the recent cold snap down to minus 13 degrees and a lot of snow, caused a real flurry of messages. I had never thought about it, sepsis and hip problems being what they are, and not having seen our new house since July, but we shall be living on quite a steep hill with a sharpish bend just down the road. It suddenly dawned on the other residents, who are actually there and not in Norfolk, that the roads have not yet been adopted by the county council so there has been no official snow clearing or gritting. The estate ground rapidly to a halt as the compacted snow turned to ice and the Blitz mentality took over. The Whats-App burst into life with requests from the active snow-shovellers for assistance and the estate teemed with activity, with teams of resident blokes clearing the snow and wives plying them with mulled wine and cookies. A plaintiff cry for help appeared this morning from a lady whose house had flooded throughout because a pipe had frozen and burst. All sorts of people responded to tell her that they do not own a pump but one of the chaps said he would go round with some towels after he had walked the dog! I am quite looking forward to mucking in with the crowd, some of whom have atrocious spelling, but Management is rather dreading it, worrying that it will be like the TV soap “Neighbours” with people dropping in all the time and being really sociable. We shall see. Walking up to a department store's fabric counter, a pretty girl asked, "I want to buy this material for a new dress. How much does it cost? "Only one kiss per yard, " replied the smirking male clerk."That's fine," replied the girl. "I'll take ten yards." With expectation and anticipation written all over his face, the clerk hurriedly measured out and wrapped the cloth, then held it out teasingly.The girl snapped up the package, pointed to a little old man standing beside her, smiled and said. "Grandpa please pay the man." Two men were walking through the woods and came across a big deep hole. "Wow...that looks deep." "Sure does... toss a few pebbles in there and see how deep it is." They picked up a few pebbles and threw them in but there was no noise. "That is REALLY deep... here.. throw one of these great big rocks down there. Those should make a noise." They picked up a couple of football-sized rocks and toss them into the hole and waited... and waited. Nothing.They looked at each other in amazement. One got a determined look on his face and said, "Hey...over here in the weeds, there's a railway sleeper. Help me carry it over here. When we toss it in, it MUST make some noise."The two dragged the heavy tie over to the hole and heaved it in. Not a sound came from the hole.Suddenly, out of the nearby woods, a goat appeared, running like the wind. It rushed toward the two men, then right past them, running as fast as it's legs would carry it. Suddenly it leaped in the air and into the hole. The two men were astonished. Then, out of the woods came a farmer who spotted the men and ambled over. "Hey, have you two guys seen my goat out here?" "We certainly did! Craziest thing I ever saw! It came running like crazy and just jumped into this hole!" "No", said the farmer, "That couldn't have been MY goat. My goat was chained to a railway sleeper” Deannie joins me in wishing you all a very happy and healthy New Year Ian Nisbet

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