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All posts for the month May, 2006

HOUSE IS A VERY, VERY FINE HOUSE

Published May 11, 2006 by jean cohen

My plans are falling into place…finally. I have rented the little house that Pinkie found for me. Terry did some magic with videos from her phone, and I have real pictures now.

My house backs up to Oatlands Park, which was a royal hunting lodge of Henry VIII. In 1530-something, the King confiscated the property from one of his friends, and gave it to Anne of Cleves as a wedding gift. She never stayed there; She and Henry weren’t married very long. But Elizabeth I often stayed, especially during those times when she was under "house arrest" for political reasons or wearing goddamn ugly hats.

Lou thinks that my garden wall is part of the original structure. I’ve always been enthralled by the Tudors, and now they’ll be my neighbors. How cool is that? Part of my address is Old Palace Road.

A bit of disappointing news, however. I screwed up on the regulations, and Hamish can’t come for six months. He needs a certain rabies test, and it takes six months to get the results. I misread the DEPRA stuff, and thought they meant his rabies vaccine. He will have to vacation with Jay, Rita and Brian again.

Pinkie had renter’s remorse after I sent her an email asking about the dishwasher, garbage disposal, trash compactor and air conditioner. Silly cow! You might think I was a shallow American or something. It’s perfect!

Poor Hamish! His microchip died, and they couldn’t get enough blood from the vein in his paw, and had to go in to his jugular. He was howling something like, "Sod England. Sod the Queen and her goddamn ugly hats. Sod Zack". I don’t know about the sod Zack part. Hamish never met him. I spent the better part of the day at the Vets as we called the DEPRA Pets Hotline, the microchip manufacturer, then DEPRA, then the manufacturer again. They had to take x-rays to see if they could find the chip. It was there; it just wasn’t working. Then there was a discussion about operating to remove it. Or just put in another one? But wouldn’t the Inspectors in England be confused? The vet did end up putting in a second microchip. Everything is now done, and we just have to wait six months.

My realtor emailed to say my references were all fine (Thank God she didn’t talk to certain people) and I am approved. I wired some funds, and it’s now official. I will be back around the 5th of June. Of course, I rang Pinkie immediately to share the news.

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HOMEWARD BOUND

Published May 6, 2006 by jean cohen

Warning: This blog requires a box of Kleenex. (At least I cried when I was writing it.)

It’s hard to believe that fifteen months ago I got on a plane to England, kind of like Agatha Christie’s "Destination Unknown," even though everybody here thought it was a big mistake. Despite those annoying "teething" problems in the first few days, I found a life in Weybridge.

I didn’t want to leave, and I knew, in my heart, that I was coming back.

What a difference this time! Texts, emails and phone calls are flying across the Pond. Pinkie found me a house. She did all the legwork, despite the fact that she is in the midst of writing her thesis. She even paid the deposit. She has been brilliant! Why, she rang me from the Grotto the other night so Robbie Lee could sing "Daydream Believer" (the "official" pub Jeano song) to me when I was really stressed out.

Not only is my house right down the road from Pinkie’s, but I’m only like a minute from Vickie’s flat. Vickie graciously stored a lot of my "stuff" from my last sojourn. Maybe Jerry wasn’t the only packrat in the family. Vickums and I will spend a lot of time enjoying my garden. Maybe we’ll plant some potatoes.

And Karen and Lou….Karen is already making plans to come over and paint the lounge. They have both been incredibly kind, generous and supportive; in other words, true friends.

My house has a garden, and we’re already planning a Blow-out Arrival Do. Perhaps I shall have a Last Bank Holiday Party in August, and hire Robbie Lee to perform. (The Dyers are having someone else this year at their After Jeano Goes Home Do. Ha! Ha! I’ll BE home.) There will be many barbecues in my garden; if Terry, Lou or, better yet, Ed, comes over and cooks.

I rang Paula to tell her that I will be there when Dominic and Heidi are visiting from California. I already have plans with Eileen in London . Allison is chuffed that I’ll be making "nice cups of tea" again. I’m looking forward to partying in Tenerife with Lu-lu, and visiting every single pub in Wokingham with Jarvo.

There will be people to see, and things to do when I arrive. I think I’m going back to school. Because I choose to. Maybe I’ll actually write the Great American Novel, or in this case, the Great Expatriate Novel. My horizons stretch into infinity, because "self is a sea, boundless and measureless."

What a phenomenal adventure I’m going to experience. This time, when I land at Heathrow, I will not be a "Stranger in a Strange Land." There will be a coterie of dearly loved friends waiting for me. I will have sheets and pillows, and if I don’t have a coffee pot, I can pop over to Pinkie’s, and Terry will make me a cup and put Leonard Cohen on the sound system. Thanks to Lou, I even have a mobile, if I ever figure out how to work it. I am blessed.

I’ll end with a few lines from Kahil Gibran, who said what I need to say to all of you better than I ever could.:

 

Your friend is your needs answered

He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving.

In the sweetness of friendship, let there be laughter and sharing of pleasures.

For in the dew of little things, your heart finds it’s morning and is refreshed.

 

I’M DREAMIN’ OF TOMORROW

Published May 3, 2006 by jean cohen

Well, the auction went pretty well. It was a very long day, though. Toots came down to provide moral support, and ended up leaving with a carful of stuff that, believe me, she doesn’t really need either. No one got shot; at least I didn’t see any bloody corpses on the lawn, and the infamous gun got sold.

Ron came too, to do some minor repairs. Did you know light bulbs can be bad in their little plastic packages (sort of like eggs)? I replaced a bulb in one of the high hats in the kitchen, and it didn’t work. So I told Ron the high hat needed to be replaced. He took out the bulb, shook it, and asked for another bulb. Voila! All fixed. Of course, he took the piss out of me. Now I know not only all about potatoes, but light bulbs too.

In a convo with Stuart this morning (step-son one; not AKA Lou), he reminded me that Jerry kept the gun on the boat as protection from the Pirates of the Chesapeake. Go ahead, laugh. There ARE pirates. Just because we never traveled farther south than Richmond, Virginia by boat does not mean we were not in chilling danger from cutthroat, swashbuckling evil undead pirates. Wait a minute…I think that might have been a movie. However, there really are marauders who throw the boaters overboard and steal the boats to transport tons of cocaine and heroin.

What all that was about, I have no idea. The fucking gun got sold, along with a lot of other stuff, so I’m pretty happy and VERY relieved. But sad, too. When Jerry’s bowling ball, which we moved five times, and he last used in 1974, got sold, I sent up a silent prayer to Heaven…"Sod you, you big packrat." I hope the message got to the right person. I wouldn’t want to insult anyone with influence up there.

So it’s back to sorting and packing, but at least I can walk in half of the garage now.

 

 

BANG, BANG

Published May 2, 2006 by jean cohen

Sorry it’s been a while since I blogged. I’ve been packing and sorting, and trying to organize things here. I did post the Rocky Horror snaps from Lou and Karen.

Marina had her interview with Heathside School, but we’ve not had an answer yet. Marina has also changed her mind again; as of this moment, she’s not coming back to Weybridge. Stay tuned. I am looking at a little house on Monument Road, right down the street from Pinkie. Well, Pinkie will look at it for me, and tell me if it will suit.

Fortunately, for Jerry, he’s dead. I surely would have killed him in these last couple weeks. Every time I opened a closet or little nook or cranny, I found shit that he couldn’t live without or be parted from. Stuart had to restrain me from loading up the Trailblazer and heading over to Har Jehuda Cemetery and dumping it all on his fucking grave.

That was, of course, sarcasm. I feel that I must explain these ramblings, because some readers take things too literally. I’ve actually been very nostalgic and sad. Jerry’s birthday is coming up, dismantling the house is so final, and I keep finding mementoes (like my wedding gown). Why did Jerry hold on to that? It wasn’t me; I’m not a packrat. And I’m sure as hell not gonna wear it when I marry David of the Sheep.

Tonight is the auction of "My Stuff", run by a professional auctioneer company. Last week, I emptied out the wall safe. It was filled with the usual kinds of things; our wills, passports, birth certificates, etc. plus my stash of drugs. Note to reader with no sense of humor: This is another joke. I keep my stash somewhere else. Anyway, damned if there wasn’t a revolver in there. Gee, I was surprised. I guess I knew, at some point, that Jerry owned a gun. I just didn’t think much about it. Anyway, I brought the gun, in it’s case, downstairs and left it on the kitchen counter next to the toaster. End of story? But, no. This morning, I gave the gun, in the case, to Mac, the auctioneer, who proceeded to take the gun out, cock it, and shoot a hole in the wall of my kitchen. The fucking gun was loaded. I screamed, Hamish peed, and Mac almost passed out. Or maybe Mac peed and Hamish passed out. I know I screamed…really loud. He narrowly missed one of his workers, which would have been messy, and he missed the water pipe in the wall by about an inch, which would have been a bit of a problem. THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED. Boys and girls, don’t try this at home. I am glad I didn’t know the stupid thing was loaded. (See Paragraph Two above. You can figure it out.) And people have been in and out of my house all week; real smart to keep a gun next to the toaster; I should have put it in the cupboard where I keep the pots. But then I would have forgotten it was there.

I will blog again after the auction to let you know how it went and if Mac shot anybody else.