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Posts Tagged ‘gypsy curse’

  1. Further adventures of the gypsy curse

    September 7, 2012 by superlative

    I have written quite a few times previously about my parents’ gypsy curse, and if you flick back through my posts about it there are some quite amusing (sort of) incidents of bizarre and unfortunate things happening to them. They tend to have about, oh, one a month or something like that? And they range from the mildly inconvenient to the severely disruptive or expensive.

    This week they’ve had one of their more serious and upsetting ones, so of course I had a lovely phone call from my distressed mother about it on Tuesday night. I’m expecting her to ring me about it again in a minute actually, what joy.

    A few months ago my Dad got up out of his armchair, walked across the living room, and keeled over backwards onto the dining table having fainted. He bashed his back, but he came round fairly quickly and seemed to be more or less OK afterwards. I think he did see the doctor about it, because Mum felt he was on too high a dose of anti-depressants and that they might have caused it, and the doctor reduced his dose a bit and he seemed to be OK.

    Tuesday was a nice sunny day, and as Dad is unemployed (we’re calling him ‘retired’ now, as he’s no longer actually looking for work) and has no commitments, he took his bike out for a ride round at a place called Whipps Cross near where my parents live. I don’t know if he went through choice or because Mum wanted him out of the house for a while, but either way he went.

    He rode round for a bit, stopped somewhere, lent his bike against a tree, walked a few steps, and promptly blacked out. And fell. Into a lake.

    Now, it’s quite lucky I suppose that he somehow fell (I don’t know how this worked) backwards into the lake, rather than face first. And that he didn’t drown, or fall into moving traffic or anything like that. He doesn’t know how long he was out for, but he woke up in the water and staggered out and was helped by two passers by. He was wet from head to foot, and they wanted to call him an ambulance, but he said no he was feeling better now and dissuaded them.

    The silly sod then proceeded to walk the 15 minutes home, pushing his bike, ringing wet, and turned up there shortly afterwards. God knows what he must have looked like. I suppose he didn’t think he had much choice though – Mum couldn’t come to get him, he couldn’t get a taxi as he was wet and had his bike, and he didn’t want an ambulance. So he walked. At least it was a warm day.

    Mum made him go to the doctors that afternoon, which in typical male fashion he didn’t want to do, and he’s been referred to a neurological unit for some tests in October. We know he’s got low blood pressure already, and that he’s almost guaranteed to get diabetes at some point. My Gran found out she had diabetes when she passed out in a market at about the age of 60. So I think that’s a fairly likely explanation, but the doctor didn’t agree as his blood tests six months ago didn’t show any signs of diabetes yet. So I don’t know what’s going on really. I would rather it be the blood pressure or diabetes, because at least there are ways of managing that, instead of it being something awful like a brain tumour. I really don’t know what would happen if he died, as Mum can’t really look after herself. It doesn’t bear thinking about.

    The doctor said he can still drive but should be ‘very careful’. Mum thought that was retarded, because he’s had no warning at all when he’s passed out these two times, so she worries he’ll just pass out at the wheel and plough into something. She has sort of forbidden him from driving on the motorway at least, but that creates its own set of problems because they were meant to be coming to visit me in a week to stay in the flat above us again. I don’t think they’d be able to get their money back at this short notice if they cancelled, and they’d been looking forward to it. So that’s a problem and I don’t know what’s going to happen about it. I don’t personally think he’ll pass out at the wheel because it’s rare to faint sitting down, but whether Mum will decide to relent and they’ll just come anyway I don’t know.

    So yes, the gypsy curse still rages on, and it’s a bit exhausting. In some ways I’d rather they both just got struck by lightning and have done with it, as at least that would be quick.


  2. Vroom vrooooom!

    March 7, 2012 by superlative

    I have had another rubbish month for blogging, to the point where I have actually received complaints about it. Who actually wants to read this stuff?? Well apparently you do, so you’ve brought it on yourself and I have no sympathy.

    I have been crap at writing on here because I’m insanely busy with work, and trying to do my normal job in three days a week plus a new job in the other two days is seemingly a bit ambitious. I’ve managed to get back on top of things this week, but it is hard going. I’ve also had quite a lot happening at home, so there has just been no time for anything, and blogging got pushed out.

    My main news from the last month is that we (well, Chris) have bought a new car! This is him, and his name is Thunderbolt:

    Chris has wanted a convertible for aaages, and he’s earning pretty well now so he decided just to buy one. Our old car (dear old Columbo, who I’m going to miss terribly) was on his way out a bit, so we knew he needed replacing soon, and in a bit of a whirlwind of activity Chris found Thunderbolt online, we saw him the next day, and test drove and then bought him the day after that.

    It all seemed to happen REALLY fast, and even though he’s second hand and wasn’t all that much money, and Chris was paying out of his savings so it wasn’t even my money, I found that the whole process made me insanely anxious and stressed. I was worried we’d get ripped off, that the car would have a major fault, that the garage wouldn’t do the work they’d promised to do on it before we picked it up, that it wouldn’t be ready on the day we were supposed to pick it up, that they wouldn’t take Columbo in part exchange once they had a closer look at him, ALL sorts of things. I don’t really know what’s happened to me in the last few years, but I have completely lost the ability to cope with change and my anxiety levels have gone through the roof. Buying a house, starting this new job, and buying a car have all been a nightmare, and I’ve worried myself to the point of feeling sick all the time. I really don’t want to be that person (effectively my Mum but not so haughty) and I need to find a way of nipping it in the bud now while I hopefully still can. I’m not sure what to do about it though. I’ve got a book on anxiety at home somewhere that I need to try to dig out, and there are various types of therapy I could try. When I’m in between big stressful events though I don’t feel especially anxious about things, so I end up not doing anything about it, and then something else big happens and I wish I had. Hmm.

    Anyway, that was an interesting (boring) diversion about my anxiety issues. Thunderbolt seems fine so far, touch wood, and we’ve had him nearly a week. The weather has unfortunately not been nice enough to have the roof down, but he is very big and comfy and Chris seems to enjoy driving him. I always refer to our cars as him, by the way. I hope everything stays fine and his big end doesn’t go after a fortnight or anything. What the hell is a big end anyway, and where does it go? Can’t they just fix them in place more securely? I might have to look into that.

    Other than that I have just been drinking too much, not getting enough sleep (while drinking), and thinking I really must cut down on my drinking. I don’t get wasted all the time or anything, but I had started to drink out of habit in the evenings a couple of weeks ago. It was just a cocktail or a glass of wine, so not loads, but it wasn’t very good. So now I’m cutting down a bit and only drinking when I’m actually socialising or for a treat.

    Mum is hmmm OK, not great. That’s about as good as it gets with her. Their gypsy curse this week has included: the downstairs phone breaking; the battery going on her car so it wouldn’t start and she had to get the AA out; a blind falling off the wall when she pulled it; and my Dad fainting for no reason and banging his head on the dining table. So pretty much par for the course with them really. Dad has been to the doctors already and been told he has low blood pressure, and now he’s having some tests done. I’m not too worried about him as yet, but I’m glad he is getting checked out.

    It’s just bizarre that they have so many stupid things happen to them though, it’s non-stop. He’s still waiting to hear from the police about his accident thing that he lost his job over and that he might get prosecuted for. If I wrote down all the unfortunate things that have happened to them over the last year I think it would make me want to shoot myself (or them, as an act of kindness). But it does at least make me realise, anxiety issues or not, I have a comparatively good and easy life and so I should be grateful.


  3. Home for Christmas

    December 23, 2011 by superlative

    We’re off back up to Essex and London tomorrow to spend Christmas with our mummies and daddies. As always it’s going to be a bit of a whirlwind of rushing about to see all sorts of different people, which is a bit of a shame because it ends up being more about ‘seeing’ as many people as possible, instead of actually enjoying  it. I’ll have to look at Austin Drage in a santa hat for a while to console myself.

    The same as last year, I’ll be spending Christmas day up at Chris’ Mum’s house and my parents are going to come for lunch for a few hours. It seemed to work pretty well last year and it meant that Mum and Dad had more of a proper Christmas than they would if they just sat at home. It also means that I won’t have to travel on Christmas Day (the only day between now and Wednesday that I won’t be driving anywhere), and once Mum and Dad go home I’ll be able to relax properly! I did find it a bit stressful having them there last year, because Mum has the potential to be so difficult, but it turned out fine that time and they were just grateful to be invited somewhere. They don’t actually have any friends, which is a bit weird really!

    Then on Boxing Day I’ll be seeing my horrible grandad for lunch, which I’ll hate, and I’ll have to remember to take my wedding ring off and dodge any questions about my home life. It’s such a chore. I’m sure he’ll also mention that he only sees me once a year on Boxing Day now, but, well… there’s a reason, and it’s because he’s not a very nice man.

    For the first Christmas in my life I won’t be seeing my brother at all as he has gone away on holiday. Lucky him – I’m quite jealous that he doesn’t have to bother with all the enforced family engagements.

    Other than that I’ll just be trolling up and down between Chris’ Mum’s and my Mum’s houses, seeing friends in the evening, and stuffing my fat face with Christmas food. It could be worse really, I shouldn’t grumble!

    Then we’re back to Brighton next week for New Year and some much needed peace and quiet.

    Ryan Phillippe wishes you all a very merry and partially-clad Christmas:

    UPDATE TO THIS POST: Dad has been suspended from his job for gross misconduct. Hmmmm, so this is going to be a fab Christmas of frosty atmospheres and snippy passive aggressive comments from Mum, isn’t it?? Jesus Christ… I might just rock up drunk and try to stay pissed all the way through until Tuesday. I can’t see how else I’m going to get through it. God I love my parents’ gypsy curse, it makes my time at home feel so MAGICAL.


  4. Gingerly tapping on the spacebar

    January 28, 2011 by superlative

    My Dad rang me up last night. He never rings me, in fact the only time I speak to him on the phone is when my Mum is having a bad day (worse than usual I mean), and I ring home and he’s been placed under instructions to answer the phone and speak to me.

    But he rang me up quite deliberately yesterday because he wanted to tell me about his first day on his Basic Computer Skills course. He told me he had done typing, he had made his first Word document, he had centred some of the text, and then he saved it and printed it out.

    Honestly, it was SO sweet. I can imagine him there, with his huge clumsy hands, looking down at the keyboard so he can push a button and then looking back up to see if the computer screen (he calls it the VDU) had done anything.

    He said he had got on very well, and despite having missed two sessions (even though they told him it started yesterday) he had felt much more able than the woman sitting next to him. He found the mouse challenging, because the buttons are too delicate and when he pushes them the whole mouse tends to move (seriously, his hands are like breadboards), but other than that he sounded really pleased with himself.

    He also told me he had saved his document as his initials, so he would be able to find it again next time, which I thought was an odd detail to throw in.

    So BLESS MY DAD anyway. I’m really proud of him, and it’s nice for him to go out and do something on his own and to sound quite positive about something. Getting some computer skills might not help him find a job, but it will at least help him look for one.

    Oh yes, and the gypsy curse continues because their porch has rotted through overnight and is about to fall of the front of the house, and the microwave blew up when Mum tried to make scrambled egg in it. Well it can’t ALL be positive with them, can it?


  5. Gypsy curse for sale

    December 7, 2010 by superlative

    Would anyone like to buy my parents’ gypsy curse? Because it’s going cheap, and it’s seriously getting out of hand now. Perhaps you could give it to an enemy as a Christmas present; I’m sure you’d be pleased with the results.

    Mum and Dad have recently had their roof done, which needed doing badly because it had never been changed since the house was built in the 1930s and it was starting to leak. So of course the gypsy curse was all over that straight away, making it take twice as long as it should have done, and ensuring that the front garden, back garden, guttering, water tank, and some other pipes were all destroyed in the process. Like, totally destroyed. They’ve finally FINALLY finished it (I’ve had Mum on the phone banging on about it most days for two weeks), so I was at least able to start saying comforting things like “well it’s all done now, and you’ve got a few weeks left to rest before Christmas to try to get over the stress and the tiredness, and it did need doing, so just put the stress behind you now and be glad it’s done.”

    WRONG. The gypsy curse decided to kick my parents square in the bollocks (yes my Mum has them too) the day after they’d paid the £6,000 for the roof from their savings by sending my Dad’s company into compulsory liquidation. So he’s out of a job and has been made redundant for the fifth time in his life, leaving them with no income apart from my Mum’s benefits and Dad thinking he’ll probably never find another job now that he’s 62 because no one will want to hire him.

    I really don’t know why they’re so unfortunate, but it’s just ridiculous. FORTUNATELY, their mortgage is paid off because my Grandad paid it when Mum got ill and had to give up work. And they do have more savings in the bank. So it could actually be worse, as I have tried to remind Mum, because they’re not going to be out on the streets and I’m sure at some point my Dad will find SOME sort of job, even if he has to stack shelves or sweep roads or whatever. To his credit, within about two hours of getting home from his liquidated job he’d already made an appointment at the job centre for his initial interview thingy, so at least he’s trying to get on with things (while Mum freaks out in the background of course).

    Naturally my Mum’s first reaction is only to consider how this affects her, with scant thought for what my Dad must be feeling. Apparently he was ‘inconsiderate’ by walking back into the house at 10am and just saying “Redundant” at her, rather than breaking it to her gently. And she “can’t cope with having him in the house all day; she needs peace and quiet to rest”. So poor Dad gets shit off her straight away for not being tactful when he was probably still reeling from being laid off completely unexpectedly, and he gets pressurised to go out of the house all day even though he’s got no where to go so she can rest. Nice. I do feel sorry for him, I really do. He’s a lovely, clumsy, warm man who always means well but just gets some things wrong, and I don’t know how he puts up with her.

    So yeah, my parents’ life remains pretty crappy. The only thing I can imagine making this worse is if my Mum’s Dad dies this winter, which is a distinct possibility as he’s very old and frail now. That would send Mum fully over the edge, and I could entirely imagine her topping herself as a result. And to be brutal, really really horrifically brutal, a tiny bit of me would be relieved for it to be all over because supporting her has become harder and harder and harder and there’s never any respite, never a moment when she says ‘yes I feel a little bit better today actually’ or ‘oh things are fine here at the moment, I can’t complain’ and her downward trend just goes on and on and on. It’s horrible, and I’m out of energy.


  6. A random bunch of stuff all chucked into one blog post

    January 14, 2010 by superlative

    I haven’t blogged all that much over the last few weeks, because I feel like I haven’t been doing much that was noteworthy.

    Mum has kind of plateaued at a medium level of crazy for the moment, so I haven’t even felt there was much to write about her either. She’s still ill of course, and she’s still subject to their bizarre gypsy curse and its associated mishaps (the thermostat is still kind of broken, and this week their kitchen sink decided to overflow), but she hasn’t had anything major to bang on at me about for a while.
    So this is just an odds and sods post really to distract me from my work for a little while.
    We went to a friend’s house last night for an Indian take away and to watch Slumdog Millionaire on Channel 4. I hadn’t seen it before, but obviously I’ve heard quite a lot about it after it won lots of different awards. I have to say that I quite enjoyed it, but I didn’t think it was amazing or anything. I often get that with ‘big’ films though, they end up rather over-hyped and then you can’t help but be disappointed.
    I thought it was a good story, but it was essentially an episode of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire with some padding. Yes it gave an apparently realistic and compelling portrayal of life in the slums of Mumbai, and it had a very authentic feel given its use of real people from the slums as actors. So it was good definitely, but parts of it were a bit predictable and I wasn’t left thinking “wow that was a best thing I’ve ever seen”.
    I’ve also watched the first three episodes of the new season of Heroes recently. Almost immediately it managed to annoy me, and although it is refreshing to have some new characters I do feel like it has gone off the boil a bit. Why is Sylar STILL in it as one of the main villains? Why? Why would you do this? That’s FOUR seasons now where he’s been running around, talking with his mouth half closed and having practically limitless powers. It just seems a bit lazy not to have written him out.
    I’m also fed up with the way Matt Parkman does a weird squinty head twitch every time he uses his powers. Surely he would be more effective if it weren’t so obvious he was poking around in your head?
    And of course Claire Bennet is still trying to live a normal life, but failing miserably to be at all discreet about her powers, and her Dad is interfering in the name of protecting her, and Hiro’s powers don’t work properly, and blah blah blah. You could be describing practically any season of the show.
    So anyway, I’m sure I’ll end up still watching it, but I’ll frequently tut the whole way through, and let out an exasperated sigh at the end of each episode. It’s such a shame, because the first two seasons were excellent.
    Other than that, work is the same as usual: pretty dull and filled mostly with Facebook and Twitter. I’ve had quite a few days off due to the snow, which has been nice and has helped the weeks to flick by more quickly. I had someone ask me YET AGAIN the other day “wouldn’t you rather be doing a job that uses your languages”. ARRRRGH! Yes I probably would, but I’m just not, alright?? There aren’t that many jobs ‘using your languages’ in Brighton, and if I learnt one thing from the job in the tour operators which I hated, it’s that just using your languages isn’t enough to make you like your job. You have to like the actual job in the first place – doing it in French or Italian makes very little difference.
    So yes, I still have my vaguely-unfulfilled feeling from time to time, and would quite like to be doing something more challenging. But as I have no idea what that would be, this job is fine: it pays well (considering I have hardly any work to do), I like the bits of work that I DO do, the people are nice, and I get left alone and not stressed out. If a bit of boredom is the price I pay for that, it could be a lot worse.
    Right, I’ve been banging on for ages now, so I’d better do some work/Twitter. We’re meant to be going to Pop Kraft this weekend, so maybe that will give me an opportunity to take some photos and write about some actual events instead of general ramblings!

  7. Wicked

    January 5, 2010 by superlative

    I had a very nice Christmas and New Year, even if it has become a distant memory already now that I’m back at work. I apologise for not having managed to blog at all during that period, but I was too busy having my Mum flap at me about one thing or another and stuffing my face with food I didn’t pay for.

    Anyway, amongst the many Christmas gifts I got from Chris’ Mum, I was very pleased to find two tickets to see the musical Wicked. I read the book ages ago, and occasionally say things like “yes we really must go to the theatre more often”, so she actually did quite well to get us that as a present. She didn’t do so well in picking Monday 4 January, our first day back at work, as the evening to book it for, but she’s a bit dotty like that.
    “You’re not back at work then are you?”, she said when we unwrapped them.
    Er yes, of course we are. Everyone is! But her brain works in its own special little way sometimes.
    It didn’t matter too much really, as the show was at 7.30pm, and the theatre is right next to Victoria station, so it was perfectly possible to get up to London in time to see it. It did turn out to be hideously tiring though, running for a train at 5.30pm through freezing weather, and then sitting on it thinking “I bet my bed is all warm and cosy right now. I wonder what’s on the telly?”
    But anyway, the show was AMAZING. It was easily as good as I had hoped it would be, with a very talented cast and excellent sets and lighting and things. Our seats were right near the back, so when I saw the seating plan I thought we wouldn’t be able to see very much, but the Apollo is quite a small theatre really so the view was fine.
    I was surprised how different the story is compared to the book, particularly the second half of the show, but it didn’t really matter. I think they’d changed it largely to make it more accessible to people who have only seen the Wizard of Oz film, and because there’s simply too much in the book for a stage show.
    Alexia Khadime was great as Elphaba, and has a spectacular voice. The Glinda character had almost as big a part, which I hadn’t realised, and she was also really good and provided quite a bit of the humour. I think we had the standby Sarah Earnshaw rather than the main billed actress. I really liked her anyway, she was really funny.
    It did make me want to go and see more shows, particularly Priscilla Queen of the Desert which is on at the moment (could I be any gayer?), but I don’t think I’d go on a week night again. Standing in freezing Victoria at 10.30pm really wasn’t very fun, and I had to drag myself out of bed this morning.
    I don’t think I’ll blog very much more about Christmas and New Year, but in summary:
    – I had a better than average Christmas, everyone seemed to get on, and I got very good presents.
    – My Mum didn’t come to our Boxing Day meal with my Horrible Grandad, but that was better really because it made it less stressy for me.
    – And for New Year we went to The Jam in Brighton, to a club night organised by Dynamite Sal, which was BRILLIANT. I got trashed and felt dreadful the next day, but was at least conscious at midnight this year.
    Oh yes, and my parents are still subject to their weird voodoo gypsy curse where everything goes wrong for them. Notably over the Christmas period, they enjoyed:
    – a Christmas meal booking with me where the restaurant turned out not to be open for another hour after our booked time, and had no record of their booking, so we ended up in a Wetherspoons in Wanstead eating burgers.
    – water coming in round one of their bedroom windows and running down the wall.
    – a thermostat that broke at 10pm on a Saturday night and proceeded to try to freeze them to death during the subsequent Sunday when no one was available to come and fix it.
    What fun! So of course I had to hear about all that in detail. They really shouldn’t have built their house on that Indian burial ground.