Tuesday, 29 December 2009


This post is appearing in both blogs.

So, Christmas is over. It was a bit of a non-event for me as I felt as if I was just killing time waiting for today. It was even quieter as just about everyone in Susan's brotherNick's family were ill with sickness including and diarrhea, including his wife Viv was was supposed to be cooking the dinner for us this year. Luckily we'd bought a small turkey crown so I cooked the dinner here with just Susan and her mother.I did little else during the weekend except potter about.

I did get three orders from Amazon buyers over the weekend and popped out early to the post office to put them in the mail. When I got back Susan was being harrassed by a phone call from Carol. When that subsided I started with my phone calls, first to the doctor's surgery to arrange to pick up the death certificate. The receptionist didn't have it to hand so she told me she'd get the doctor on call to ring me back about it. Five minutes later the phone rang and it was Carol again. I said, "Carol, I'm waiting for a call about my mother's death certificate. Bye," and put the phone down. He did ring back about 20 minutes later and after checking a few details confirmed it would be okay for me to pick it up whenever I got there. This was about 9.15. Next I rang Gateshead Civic Centre to arrange to register the death and agreed an appointment at 11.00, figuring if I left the house at 10.00 that would give me plenty of time. The phone rang again, this time the Methodist minister who would be taking the ceremony as per my mother's request. He would have come through here from Gateshead but I didn't want to put him out and had suggested a couple of days earlier we do it over the phone. We talked for about twenty minutes and he sounded like a nice bloke. This took me up to ten so I was out of the house and on the road. Apart from having to wait for the large refuse disposal wagon to get out of the way, the drive through was easy enough and I found the surgery equally easily. The receptionist had the certificate to hand and I was on my way. I knew where the Civic Centre was and parking there was free. Found the registrar's office easily. Had a painless session with a nice lady of not far off my age who was, like I had been, a Unison steward. Then to the funeral parlour whichw as just around the corner but I went the wrong way. Didn't matter though as Katherine, the director, wasn't there and the staff didn't know where the paper was that I had to sign. She was at a funeral so they texted her and I had to wait for her to call back which, fortunately was only about 10 ten minutes.

Home, Susan said I had to ring the solicitor immediately which I did not quite immediately having to scrabble through all the bit and pieces of paper on my computer desk before I could do so. Of course he was on the other line and would call me back. Then Carol rang.

I've tried to steer clear of being critical about people on this blog but this time I can't avoid it. 

Carol is known for being difficult and alienated the local charity Pawz for Thought who used to sponsor her. But she's the only person in Sunderland who looks after large numbers (i.e. ten or more and usually it's around twenty) so I tend to makes allowances and, as everyone in Animal Krackers knows, I'm her biggest supporter. However, she has no sense of proportion. Her heart is in the right place, but her head isn't. She started ranting on about a cat that had died this morning and how awful Vets4Pets was and she knew my mother had just died but I had to put that out of my mind as the cats came first. I've omitted the frequent swearing and the fact that this was screamed down the phone at me. When she started on about my mother after I told her I was waiting for a call from the solicitor I just put the phone down. I few minutes later she called Susan on her mobile and ranted on to her for several minutes. Eventually, after telling Carol that I didn't want to speak to her, Susan also put the phone down on her.

The solicitor never rang back and I slept for most of the afternoon.

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