It must be us!
We hate all our neighbours with equal venom: one has dogs that bark; another has a grandson who has to be talked to so the rest of the neighbourhood can hear; another has vile offspring with even viler friends; another has a wonderful house with its own swimming pool and yapping dogs, and so on.
On Sunday morning, however, it was The Shouties. Immediately opposite us is a block of flats, but they seem to be an exercise in communal living because, as far as we can see, they are infested by one extended family. And they shout. They are unable to communicate in voices in anything resembling normality so whenever they are in movement they sound like riders in the Wild West keeping the cattle together. There are at least three generations of Shouties living there and they are all characterized by the same proclivity and shout where ever and when ever possible.
At a quarter past eight on Sunday morning the Shouties started shouting and it gradually grew into a convention of the sotto voce challenged. Cars appeared and parked in front of our driveway, more and more people appeared who greeted each enthusiastically and loudly. More and more of these idiots turned up while some sort of manager figure clutching a sheet of paper yelled encouragement at each new arrival.
My usual strategy at this type of parking is to go out onto the street and take a photo of the car’s number plate with my mobile phone. This usually gets a fairly rapid response as people in this area are not shy in calling out the mobile cranes to come and remove illegally parked vehicles.
Thanks to the alleged destructive behaviour of our next-door neighbours the post separating our two driveways has been knocked down. This allows the dog owner to make a sweeping approach across our driveway to park (illegally) outside her house. Her ineptitude is so great that the post made it impossible for her to approach her demesne, so the Family Effort got rid of it. The last time they did this (they have done it three times) I took a photo of the back of the car showing the indentation on the bumper where it had knocked into the post and dislodged it. Denunciations have achieved nothing, though it was pleasing to see her car towed away once because of her “parking”!
The Shouties eventually yelled away in their procession of cars and left the street to quietness and to me!
As the popular demand is for chocolate and more chocolate, “Chocolate Week” has been extended for another five working days and I have donned my pinny and tired to make more professional sweets than the last time.
My attempt to find marzipan failed again and I was forced to make some myself – at least I was able to get some ground almonds and then make the icing sugar myself too. Not haute cuisine admittedly but more effort than I wanted to put in.
I have now produced a series of round, glacé cherry centred, marzipan wrapped, chocolate covered things which are hardening in the fridge even as I type. They should almost be ready to be topped with a swirl of coloured gunge which I can apply from little pipettes with the coloured extrusion ready to be squirted.
I also found something which purports to be rhubarb. It comes in a paper tube and looks like sugar and I think it is something related to a laxative but that did not stop my trying to recreate the mythical “White chocolate with rhubarb” bar that I found and devoured on one unique occasion and have never found since. Even if the chocolates do not match the taste of the original experience, they should be useful and, how can I phrase it, easeful?
Today, Monday is one of the testing days for me as a two-hour meeting is scheduled after school and I am determined not to attend. I will have to see how my absence is regarded. Not only am I going to cut this meeting, but I am also planning to leave school early! Such audacity! I only hope that I get away with it: I am relying on my White Knight status to allow such unheard of liberties. Perhaps I should go around muttering “Après moi, le deluge!” to remind people of what life could be like if I walk!
Sunday evening was taken up with much reading of Engels and writing something on the Forum which could count for a mark if I decide not to do the essay. The response from the other students has been limited, presumably as they are all still ploughing their way through the text, but it is of little use to me as there is very little for me to respond to. And in the right-on world of the OU “responding” is the heart and soul of our work!
The weather is soulless and dull and it has conveyed its negativity to the teaching staff – or to me. And I want to go home.
Unfortunately the whole day (almost) stretches ahead with its forbidding length. There is marking to be done (which was not done yesterday or the day before or the day before that) but it does not appeal. I will read the first five chapters of Hard Times and make notes about the descriptions and add something more to the Forum and in the lively expectation of provoking some sort of writing from somebody else.