Friday, 31 December 2010

Review of the Year

January:

The addition of fish to our Christmas-present-to-ourselves aquarium.  Glad to be able to report that we have only lost a very few over the intervening 12 months, and the ones who are still there look happy.  Well, as happy as fish ever do.  They've grown, and their colours are bright.  And I think one of them was smiling at me.

Snow.  Lots of snow.  Inability to get to work, which started off as fun and exciting, and rapidly became irritating and constraining.  No snow animals, though.  Fail.

Chest infection.  Yes, another bout of the Black Lung. 

Ongoing SSFH fuckwittery from the police, proving that basic administration CAN be impossibly hard if you really work at it. 

Sausage making. Oh yes.  Oh yes indeed.  Watch and be impressed, dear readers.  The hands belong to our friend the chef, the splendid camera work was down to me.  I didn't realise my camera recorded sound. Until I filmed that. 

February:

More fuckwittery from the police.  I suspect that I could say that every month, to be honest.

My blog was stalked by a mad optician for a bit, they added semi-literate comments to the same post over and over. Fool. 

Big, long, fantastic holiday to the US of A was booked, which cheered us both up after the horrible year we had just had.

Joined Slimming World, after deciding that I really couldn't pretend that I was fine as I was any more.  That was a surprisingly hard thing to do, it felt like an admission of defeat and failure somehow.  And now, 10 months on, two and a half stone lighter so far, I realise what a fucking idiot I was for not doing it years ago. 

March:

I had my hair cut at a posh hairdresser in Salisbury.  And it was great.  I will continue with that for the forseeable future I think.   Well, at least for as long as I have a job and can afford it. 

There was a lot of whining about trains.  Again, I expect that is true for every month. 

Minor domestic appliance chaos, and a huge crack in Mr WithaY's Landrover windscreen made it an expensive month. 

April: 

April was ALL ABOUT the visas.  Following the SSFH, we discovered that we now need visas to travel to the USA, so we had weeks of incredibly stressful and depressing paperwork and expense.  It all came right in the end, but I can honestly say that if we hadn't already booked the flights and hotel we would not have bothered. 

Mr WithaY went off to Wales for a fortnight to help run the outdoor activity stuff with work.  I don't remember any major domestic appliances breaking while he was away, for a change. 

There was also a degree of ranting about fuckwits on trains.

May:

May saw the continuation of the Black Lung, which had stuck around on and off for about 5 months.  Nice.

The weather improved and we did work on the garden. 

Poor brother in law was taken ill, which was very frightening, but thankfully he is making good progress now. 

Father in law was also taken very ill, rushed into hospital several times, all very upsetting.  Oh, and the nursing home staff dropped him on his head, which didn't help matters.  He is still with us, though, battling on and watching murder mysteries with glee. 

Holiday preparation continued, having the visas meant that we actually started looking forward to it.

June:

We went to AMERICA.  Hurrah!  I can't believe it was 6 months ago. 

We also had the house insulated - been much warmer this winter, so that was worth doing - and did lots to the garden. 

Oh, and I got chatted up by the man who works at the rubbish tip.  Bonus.

July:

AMERICA AMERICA AMERICA.  We were over there for a month, it was marvellous.  Best holiday ever.

I fell over in Nantucket like an idiot and fractured my ankle, not realising I had done so for about 3 weeks.  Gah.  Well, a bad sprain looks like a fracture, and vice versa, apparently.

The weather had been boiling hot the whole time we were away, we returned home and the rain started.  Ah well.

August:

I started my new job, still in London, still in the same department, but in a different team and with a different role.  Still enjoying that.  Good chance that I will be made redundant though, next year.  And to be honest, that would mean that I wouldn't have to spend 6 hours a day travelling, and would probably pay off most of the mortgage, so hey, not all bad.

Had the plumber in to do some minor work on the bathroom.  Ended up with huge holes smashed in the walls and a craving for whiskey.  Looks ok now.

September:

September is all about the Frome Cheese Show.  I am already looking forward to the next one.

We persuaded father in law WithaY to sell his house, and spent many weekends travelling to Dorset to clear his stuff out and take photos for the estate agents.  It's still on the market.  Anyone with £300K to spare, drop me a line.

October:

Had a mini holiday in St Ives with some mates, the weather was lovely, the sea was blue, we saw a seal, Mr WithaY fell over backwards into a stream. Oh, and there were cream teas.  Perfect.

Went to see our MP to try to resolve the ever-present SSFH aftermath. 

I lost my blogging mojo for a bit, but not to worry, it came back.  Like Lassie. 

November:

Rained.

Return of the Black Lung.   4 weeks off work, antibiotics, chest x-rays blah blah fucking blah.  Again.

Also, visit from two senior police officers to discuss the rather excellent letter which our MP wrote to the Chief Constable.  Had almost 2 hours with them, explained exactly how their actions had affected us, and how incredibly fortunate we are to have a close group of friends and neighbours who looked after us when the SSFH broke over our heads, and basically made sure we didn't do anything stupid at a time when we felt as though we might. 

Police apologised profusely and heartily. Police also said they would pay us a small token amount - NOT compensation, that would imply fault - but as a recognition of what we had suffered as a result of their "poor decision."  We agreed that we would let the matter rest.  We are waiting for a cheque. 

Feel as though a line has been drawn under that now, which is a huge relief.

December:

Snow snow snow.  Frost and fog as well.  Very seasonal.

Catastrophe in the kitchen with a shelf collapse, and about £500 of china and glass smashed all over the floor.  Waiting for a letter from the insurance company.  Gah.

New curtains though.


SSFH:

So, yeah.  We were arrested last summer.  The police turned up at our house at 0630 with a warrant and a battering ram (thankfully not used) and arrested us both on very serious, very nasty allegations.  We were held in the cells for 10 hours, photographed, fingerprinted, questioned under caution and finally released on bail.  Our home was searched, a lot of our property was confiscated for examination, and we both felt as though our world had come to an end. 

A week later we were told that the police would be taking no further action, and all our property was returned.  I was off work for over a month with post traumatic stress, we were both very badly affected, and without the love and support of our friends and neighbours, I really don't know that we would both still be here. 

We've spent a lot of time over the last 18 months trying to get an explanation as to how this could have happened, and why, and who was responsible for the original malicious and unfounded allegations.  We'll never know, as it turns out the police didn't know either.  But they decided to act anyway.  As they said to us last month: "It was not our finest hour."  No, it really fucking wasn't.

As a result of that, we now have to get a visa to travel to the USA.  We have managed to get our DNA, photographs and fingerprints deleted from the central police database, and we have had an apology from the Chief Constable. 

It should never have happened. 

And the saddest thing, to me at least, is that we no longer trust the police. 

But, at least we now have closure, to use a dreadful pseudo-psycholgical term.  And as a result, next year will be a good one.

Thank you to all our friends, neighbours and family who got us through what was undoubtedly the worst few months of our lives.  Onwards and upwards.

Hurrah.

Happy New Year, everyone.  Thank you for reading, commenting and hopefully enjoying spending virtual time with me.  Looking forward to the next chapter.

5 comments:

FigMince said...

Hi. Not a real comment, just a New Year greeting from a yokel who enjoys dropping in. Glad the SSFH seems settled.

badgerdaddy said...

I'm not sure if that other comment is real, or a figmince of my imagination.

LBTW, the pleasure is all ours, honestly. x

Isabella Golightly said...

Ouch. Who's your badgerdaddy then? I too am glad the ssfh is settled, we have an unfortunate tendancy here to jump in & arrest & convict the innocent, often ending with them in jail - check this out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sydney_Hilton_bombing

So I am very glad to hear that it didn't end up that way, and that there will still be much dryading to amuse this potato-headed yokel. And a happy new year to you from down here. I mean Down Under. No, really.

Peter Kenny said...

At last I understand the SSFH. My God. You poor things.

livesbythewoods said...

FigMince, hello and thank you, same to you!

Badgerdaddy, mwah, darling, mwah!

Isabella, sad but true, yes. Here's hoping this year is less eventful.

Peter, you couldn't make it up.