I'm temporarily back (again!). We're off on Monday to the South of France for 2 weeks of well deserved holidays. We will be staying with my mum and dad there and I'm sure they will allow me to use their computer to start blogging properly again. Isn't it funny the way most people take a break from blogging when they go on holidays and I'm the opposite. I look forward to being able to blog because I'm on holidays. We have a busy 2 weeks ahead of us, catching up with family and friends. My mum and dad have decided to send Mr Foodie and myself away for 4 days to Marseille. I know it's only a plot on their part to spend some time on their own with the girls but they claimed that it was for me since I haven't had a break from the girls as such in more than a year. We are really looking forward to 2 weeks of peace and quiet and sunshine especially after the crazy 2 weeks we have just had.
The last time I blogged we were in the house for a little over a week and were starting to settle in properly. A good few things have happened since and we even had our first proper visitor. My cousin, who had to cancel a trip planned in April or May over the ash cloud, came over for 10 days. She went home on Thursday morning. Unfortunately, we didn't do as much visiting etc as I would have liked due to reasons I will explain a little bit further, but the good point is that she got to meet SuperFoodie.
Yes, we had to call upon SuperFoodie more than once over the past couple of weeks. It all started on a quiet Tuesday. I was at home. The Sky man was supposed to come and install its machine that would finally allow us to have a decent reception and more channels than we need. My cousin was landing later on in the day. Perfect timing. Well, no, not really, by 11h30 Mr Foodie received a phone call informing him that the Sky man had to go home as he was sick and that he would come in Wednesday instead. Fine by us, what's an extra day without telly at this stage. So, when my cousin arrives, I explain to her that we are waiting on the Sky man so that the next day will have to be spent waiting on him. Of course, she didn't mind.
Wednesday: I get up bright and early as they can come anytime between 8am and 6 pm. And we wait. And wait. And wait. Mr Foodie calls them and Sky assures him that the supervisor of the subcontractor will call him back to reassure him that all will be fine. He comes home from work. Still hasn't received a call back and still no sign of the Sky man. He decides to call them while I go off to the Post Office with my cousin to collect my weekly pitance. Of course, it would have been too good for us to have a bit of good luck. My pitance is not there, and by the time we get home, the elusive Sky man still hasn't come. Mr Foodie decides that now is time for my cousin to meet his alter ego, SuperFoodie. SuperFoodie calls the Evil Sky people. They cannot apologise enough for the inconvenience. Unfortunately, they employ a subcontractor who is closed at this time and there is no way to find out why the Sky man hasn't come. SuperFoodie gives them an ultimatum. Either the Elusive Skyman is here by 10h30 on Thursday or he will be told to turn around, shove his Sky cards where the sun doesn't shine and get back to where he came from.
Thursday: I get up bright and early as they can come anytime between 8am and 6pm. And they were told explicitely to get here before 10h30, or SuperFoodie would engage them in a bloody battle involving Sky cards and arses. 10h30 comes and goes. SuperFoodie is working undercover as Mr Foodie in his office. But he manages to don his cape in a cubicle of the men's toilets in order to use the SuperPhone (that has actually been upgraded since the last time). The minions working in the Evil Sky Lair assure him that the engineer will be here within the next 2 hours, in other words before 14h00. At last, we are going to be able to watch more than the 4 blurry channels, one of which is broadcast in Irish which means that it could be sending messages to Aliens or Russian spies with Irish passports in American suburbia from all I understand from it. 14h00 comes and goes. Mr Foodie takes frequent trips to the loo in order to use the SuperPhone (well, this is not strictly true as he is allowed to use his phone from his desk but it makes for a better story, after all, Clark Kent used phonebooths, didn't he?). Meanwhile, in the Foodie House on the Prairie, we take turns window watching and I desperately try to contact the local Social Welfare (sorry, they recently rebranded, it is now the Social Protection) office to no avail to find out where my weekly pitance has gone to. Mr Foodie comes home from work, no Evil Skyman lurking on the horizon still. Then, Mr Foodie realizes that a voicemail has been left on the SuperPhone by the Evil Subcontractors Manager. SuperFoodie does not like the Evil's Skyman's tactics. Calling into SuperFoodie's voicemail directly is a low blow, only one that the Evil Skyman's Subcontractor could use. Very evasive. Call me back. SuperFoodie calls him back 3 times. The Evil Skyman's Subcontractor does not answer. SuperFoodie gets in Extra SuperFoodie Battlemode. They want a fight, they will get a fight. He calls back The Sky Lair (or call centre) and there are more talks of Sky Cards and arses. SuperFoodie talks to an Irish minion in the Evil Sky Lair and he decides to give them one last chance.
Friday: I get up bright and early as they can come anytime between 8am and 6 pm. And wait. I have to get to the local Social Protection Office so that I can find out where my weekly pitance is and when will I be able to get it. SuperFoodie gets a phone call on the SuperPhone by the Elusive Skyman. He will be here between 2pm and 4pm. I fly over to the local Social Welfare Office and find out that my pitance has been sent to the old Post Office. More than an hour away. And I need to go and pick it up by Saturday 1pm or I might lose it and it will be 4 weeks before they could reissue it. Eventually after about an hour a very kind lady places a phone call and I'm told that my payment should be in my local Post Office by Wednesday and I will be able to pick up 2 weeks payment then. I get home, quite relieved that I will not have to travel 2 hours for my measely pitance. Mr Foodie gets home and the Elusive Skyman hasn't arrived yet. But he gets another phone call by the Elusive Skyman that he is delayed and will get here by 5pm. And he does. Hurray! Well, actually no. Despite what the minions in the Evil Sky Lair told us, he could not install anything at all because we still didn't have a phone line. Actually, we nearly did but, as SuperFoodie found out, the phone company people are not capable of taking down a phone number correctly. So they couldn't contact us on Friday to come by the house to connect our line. Another fight for SuperFoodie. Another talk of arses but this time it's with phones. And the minions in the Evil Sky Lair get told something about Sky Cards and arses again. But this time, it's final.
So, after 4 days of increasing cabin fever and frustration at not being able to show my cousin around, we decided to give up. No more Sky, no more Eircom. It was way too much hassle, too much stress to deal with them and that was even before anything was installed. So we called UPC on Monday, and by Thursday, we had our box installed. No hassle. They said they'd be here about 2 pm and they got here at 2.20 pm (because they went past the house and missed it). By 3 pm everything was sorted. We still have no phone line but we will get one when the boradband is installed. My payment wasn't there on Wednesday again and I went back to the local office. It will definitely be there on Monday morning before we go away, I even got a follow up phone call to inform me.
On Sunday, we went for a walking tour of Dublin, called the 1916 Rebellion Tour and I would recommend it to anybody, Irish or tourist. It is not your typical tour with bland guide going through the motions. The guide is passionate about what he tells you about, is a fountain of knowledge and is funny. He pokes fun at people in the group, and makes the effort of getting to know every single member of the group and talk to them. Check out their website: http://www.1916rising.com/.
So many things have happened, that this is only a fraction of it. Noelie got her MMR on Monday. She had a check up on Tuesday in the Hospital and after 4 hours wait, they could not conduct the test because she had another kidney infection. She reacted quite badly to the vaccine, with temperature and now a rash that has appeared all over her back and belly. She is in great form though so I am not too worried. Our lovely neighbours have organized a playdate when we get home from holidays for Marie with a couple of girls that will be in her class in September so that she doesn't feel lost come the first day of school. We have spent an evening with our new neighbours and they are really really lovely people. Mr Foodie was invited the other day to go clay pigeon shooting and came back from it with a very bruised shoulder. We are all getting used to country life and we all love it but we will gladly do with a nice 2 weeks holidays.
Thanks for still being here despite my really lengthy radio silence,