Prepping: Water outage

I have a slippery landlord.  Very slippery.  Right now, with a cracked cistern in a 1 bath house and no water he is holding us hostage with the invoice to replace a poorly fitted, old and broken WC before they’ll replace and fix and turn the water back on.

For clarity, we officially have no piped water for sanitation, food prep or drinking.

We are impeccable tenants, we maintain the home, we hire window cleaners, we garden, we take in parcels for the neighbours, we pay the inflated rent on time every time.  In the dictionary where it lists “Model Perfect Tenant” there is a picture of me.

The idea that somebody could hold me hostage for water is shocking and despicable.  I have discovered that it takes  more than 30 litres a day to wash your body and to flush and to get one drink each.  30 LITRES!

What the landlord may or may not have been ready for is water storage.  We’re rationing like crazy but Mormons got the water storage thing going on a strong game.

So, who blinks first?  This is about to get interesting.



5PM UPDATE:  We won!!! (so far, anyway)… without continuing to make a fuss the landlord replaced the equipment and turned the water back on while we were at work.  We discovered the great news upon returning home today.  I could hear the office maintenance guy rolling his eyes on the phone yesterday evening (eye rolling and “whatever” attitude is so loud) but all’s well that ends well and the showers and taps are now operational.  They apparently viewed my video this morning chatting about how the plumber had mentioned the cistern was not attached to the wall correctly and there was too much give and play which caused the crack and leak and were a little easier to deal with once their hostility subsided.  Me to them “In the nicest possible terms, we have no sanitation, could you confirm when we will have access to sanitation please?” was apparently a reason to become terse.  We won!!!


Making space for Autism in the workplace.

There is a great deal of conversation going on about how it is encumbent upon NeuroTypicals to make space in the workplace for non-NeuroTypical people.  It is starting to look like those making the noise require and expect other people to make space and lots of allowances for their child who will become an adult.  I agree partially with the sentiment, heartfelt as it is, but also partially disagree.  I agree that people on the Autism Spectrum have a lot to offer society.  They’re frequently bright, insightful, funny, lovely and an asset to an organisation.  However, they also take a lot of energy, time, allowances, interpretation and worry to those around them.  I work in an industry blessed with many people who if they were interviewed as a kid nowadays would likely be identified as being on the spectrum.  They are great folks.  They can also be very draining.  Their skill sets are valuable.  They’re also inflexible and resistant to the ebb and flow of industry life.  It takes a long time to get them on-board with the current focus and sometimes they just refuse which requires others to make up for the distinct lack of pull.  I am sure that the office environment is both beneficial and detrimental to my associates just as it is to me.  They find it tiring dealing with people who cannot naturally grasp the abstract concept or who just don’t worry about the nitpicky detail.  I have seen that my associates find it tiring just dealing with people.  We make accommodations, we chat ahead of meetings and we chat after meetings and we make lots of time available to revisiting the minute details that are important to them on a very generalised basis.  We like them, we’re all in it together, they’re definitely great at their work, they’re capable of so much and are a social and productive asset just the same as their colleagues who are NT.  It can be tiring for NT’s to keep reviewing things.  Yet the people I am speaking about are only what my family would be referring to as “Blessed with a tinge” of spectrum life.  Like a drop or two of red paint in a pot of white.  They have little difficulty with communication.  Their communication is frequently on a tangent or abrupt or sometimes borderline less than completely appropriate for the situation but there is no difficulty in expressing ideas.  I am in a quandary.  I see the benefit they are to the company just as all the rest of their colleagues are a benefit too.  They hold their own.  They are quirky but can interact.  My concern with the full-inclusion push (and I reserve the right to change my mind – this opinion, and that’s all it is, an opinion – is valid only for 5 minutes from publication) is that the deeper in to the spectrum one travels, the more difficulty there is in expressing thoughts and ideas in a manner which can be quickly incorporated in the Corporate World.  The more difficulty there is in training in tasks, in resolving concerns that arise as a matter of course and normal life.  It’s a very walking on eggshells situation.  I don’t yet see a solution, only a desire to have people live to their fullest potential (which is immense)… I don’t see how corporate life and people who cannot pass for Neurotypical are going to blend in the future.  If you have ideas or constructive comments, please share.

To Gilet or not to Gilet. Packing the garage up.

Gilet’s and travelling light for a house move.


At the weekend I began packing up the house and garage even though we don’t yet have a move date. The early effort is because I always get a bit over tired pulling all nighters in the run up to a move and wanted to try a different approach this time. 

Part of the move is clearing and decluttering the garage. It is currently very well organised with all the encoutremonts required to keep a house running well. All kinds of garden implements and Weedkiller’s, all kinds of clothes racks and tool boxes and computer cables plus a couple of bikes and racking (sigh, such beautiful racking).   

Now, we travel pretty light for a 3 bed house.  I don’t try to carry spares of anything, I even only had 1 kid!!! (Joke).  For people who travel light we sure do have a lot of stuff.  I put myself to work for a few hours and now the garage is like a new pin, all shiny and inviting.  

I didn’t even have to buy a gilet, a sleeveless jacket. I was mulling over said purchase because it was too warm for a coat and not warm enough for just a jumper/sweater. I did not want to buy a gilet, they remind me of people dog walking so I picked up a boiler suit in dark blue instead and am delighted with the purchase.  Kept me warm, kept the spiders off, I didn’t mind it getting dusty and I felt totally competent and professional in that get up. Awesome. 

We have 4 bookcases. That should hopefully share what we think our priorities in life ought to be.  4 bookcases, one 32″ TV. A work friend shared once that rich families have libraries and studies and poor families have a media centre and that there is a very good reason for that. He also shared that a persons  TV should be no more than half the size of the bookcase.  It’s an adage I try to adhere to because it resonated with me as good sense ought to. 

Anyway, it takes a lot of ‘stuff’ to run a home, even a simplified one.  This week I have recycled 9 dustbin bags of items which are good but I don’t  want to carry to the new place. A full wheely bin of plastics from the shed. And a heap load of bags for the refuse centre. A car backseat of clothing for the drop off point. The garden furniture has been packed up for transportation. The chilli plants have been pruned ready for the spring growth. The solar lights have been de-strung to be re-strung in the new back garden. 

If this is us travelling light, how do people who travel heavy cope? All the sports kit and stuffed garage, the doubles and triples of everything, or their full up lofts.  How do they do it? 

A great deal is happening in the Whyte House.  I like it. 


What do “Normal” people do?

I’m packing up our house one box at a time getting ready to move.  Once we’ve moved in and the internet service providers have done their thing and furniture is in situ and the lawn has been mowed and the hedge cut, and I have fixed all the fix-me’s, I don’t quite know what I will do with myself for the next 50 years.

Life will be settled for the first time.  Now THAT is daunting.

What do “normal” people do?  How do you all spend your time?  Finances are not unlimited so I cannot start joining a gazillion clubs… I am happily and contractually required to keep the teen happy and healthy.  But how do Normals who like me have a home and a nice friendship group, and a nice job and a lovely kid do with all of that copious spare time?

I don’t love gardening but I do love having a tidy home and green area.  I am more of a function over form girl.  I don’t like busywork just for the sake of it.  I disapprove of personally owning pets. 50 years is a long time to fill.

I may get all the way through Netflix with that amount of time on my hands.  Might start at one end of the Public Book Library and work my way through reading everything I can get my hands on.  Other than that, I’m out of ideas.  50 years, boy, that’s ages.



Two weeks is too long for kids to not see their friends

In trying to do a nice thing, I messed up. My teen, Missy, had jet lag so pronounced that her eyes have rolled in their sockets a few times so that Sunday I let her sleep in while I went to services so that she can be ready for school.

Upon my return home she gently shared that she  was upset with me that she hadn’t had the chance to go to Church and see her friends and say goodbye to a great girl friend on her final day in the Ward before reporting to the Missionary Training Centre on Wednesday. Apparently not seeing your church friends in Young Women’s for two whole weeks is too long.

I kind of kicked myself for not waking her and said sorry. BUT the delightful thing was that I got to hear that she wanted to go to church… She was a very isolated person during primary, wouldn’t join in and didn’t enjoy those years at all. It wasn’t anything to do with primary or the teachers, she just wasn’t inclined to participate back then and couldn’t be persuaded to be cheerful about it all.

So, music to my ears that her attendance and participation is important to her as an independent person. We wait a long time for kids born into the church, covenant kids, to choose for themselves and there is never any way of telling what their decision will be ahead of time but her disappointment in my choice today sat happily with me and in future I will honour her ability to decide for herself.

I would love her and respect her choices as long as she was on the right side of the law no matter what. If she died her hair pink and was full of nose piercings (but not ear tunnels, those things gross me out) I would still respect her freedom to choose. But to hear her express a desire to be where I think we ought to be for our little family made my heart happy. I am kind of glad I messed up so that we both had that moment, her realising where she wanted to be and me hearing it.  Nice, eh.


Terminal illness.

Londoners and Essex people become colourfully indignant when we have feelings going on. It’s a culture thing.


My friend from works wife just let us know that our dear, funny as heck, tall, handsome and intelligent, honourable, caring, kind, micky taking, irreverent and a little politically incorrect, world travelling, close to retiring friend is terminally ill.

That bastard.

How dare he leave this world a little dimmer through lack of his presence.  How dare he not regale us again with the same tale over and over again on “when I was in Ireland”.  How dare he not tease me for coming from the wrong side of the tracks.  How dare he not be around to share his immense wisdom.  How dare he not tell me “Chin up, girl, you got this”.

How bastarding dare he.




How do you get over homelessness?

How does a person previously made blamelessly homeless start a new future without fear of being homeless again?


Ok, I have a question and I am genuinely looking for ideas.

With everything which happened my daughter and I were effectively made homeless overnight when we hadn’t missed a payment or damaged anything.  I was married, I thought we were somewhat ok enough, I loved him very much and I thought we had a stable home. But then everything happened and all that was removed.  I had to quickly find rentals for me and the child.  I have a pretty decent job so even though we’d been kept short of money by Mister and had no savings, the promise of a paypacket was enough to tide us over.  We found a place to stay, and then a different place a few months later and then have rented round and about over the last four years since that time.

But, I’m moving into a purchased home this spring and never want to ever be made homeless or be put in a housing-vulnerable situation again after romantic altercations.

I’ve started dating, have entered the dating scene, it’s fun, sometimes a bit meh but thinking ahead I don’t know how to feel secure or happy or safe in a future dated spouse or partner (cos I’m a fine catch!!!) making us homeless again in the future.  I was with my husband since I was 19, we split when I was 42, that’s a lot of years to think you are happy enough and house secure.

How has anyone trusted anyone again after homelessness?

How does that work, what are the mechanics?  How does a person make their future self safe from such a danger?

The idea of half-half responsibility leaves me cold with fear… what if we separated and I had to start over yet again with only half.

The idea of having my own home and someone move in when the time is right leaves me cold with fear… again, they could make a claim against the house.

Let’s be clear, it is a little house in an ok neighbourhood, it is not fancy.  But it will be safe and it will be mine and so long as I let not even a visitor in nobody could take my safety from me again. (I will let in visitors, obviously!)

But how does one make appropriate plans for a future that isn’t here yet?