LESLEY KEATING: It was almost perfect until cable firm scuppered it

Lesley says you can keep the white stuff, thank you! 
Picture: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
Lesley says you can keep the white stuff, thank you! Picture: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
1972 Blue Peter presenters Peter Purves, Lesley Judd, Valerie Singleton and John Noakes with his dog Shep

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RICK JACKSON: If only I could play a recorder with my nose!

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I can’t believe it’s nearly Christmas and we are going to be back in our home.

The Big Renovation is finally over and we will soon be back to being townies again.

So far, I’ve resisted the urge to ‘just pop in’ every day like Mike has, instead preferring to have a huge surprise at the end.

Everything has apparently gone like clockwork which is very reassuring and, despite the massive upheaval and huge mess, I must say pictures I’ve seen have been amazing. I can’t wait.

All the trades who’ve worked on our home have been incredible and I’m awestruck by their teamwork to bring a project together, all ably run by our lovely friend, designer Alex, who’s been wonderful.

Wish I could say the same about a well-known cable television company we chose for our new ‘blisteringly fast’ internet and television service.

It was ordered several weeks ago with an agreement they’d do all the magic, ‘smoke and mirrors’ bit on the day before our return.

A phone-call yesterday said differently.

Why on earth has it taken them over a month to now decide they haven’t actually got any cables to use and may need to dig the street up?

Mike has already seen ominous evidence of this – garish red arrows sprayed all up our road culminating in a big, and embarrassingly obvious, one pointing right at our drive.

The neighbours, who probably already hate us after the renovations upheaval, will no doubt be delighted at the prospect of the road being drilled. I’m cringing.

So, for Christmas, we’ll have no TV, internet or landline.

I guess there’s a bright side though. Eloise will finally get her wish of us playing family board games (which I prefer to call bored games as I’m not a fan) and we’ll have to find inventive new ways of entertaining ourselves other than watching Christmas telly.

And I’ll miss the deluge of Boxing Day holiday adverts but I have a feeling I’ll be popping into a certain local coffee shop before long and surfing winter sun on my phone.

Happy Christmas everyone!

ANGELS IN HUMAN FORM STEPPED IN TO HELP OLD LADY

Just when you’re convinced most people are self-obsessed and uncaring, you’re proven wrong.

We were Christmas shopping the other day when an elderly lady took a tumble.

Although adamant she was fine, the huge graze on her head, and bleeding hands, said otherwise.

A young couple with their eight-week-old baby appeared from nowhere, fetched a first-aid kit and a blanket, then the young dad, Liam, skilfully patched her cuts while I zipped off to buy her a cup of sweet tea.

Those good Samaritans were beyond kind, truly angels in human form, tending to Iris while we all waited for the ambulance, chatting to her to keep her spirits up.

I hope she makes a recovery in time for Christmas.

IT MAY LOOK PRETTY BUT GIVE ME SUN OVER SNOW ANY DAY

Snow? You can keep it! kill-joy…and I agree it I don’t want to be a looks pretty, but I can’t stand the stuff.

I know my friends in Scotland are sniggering loudly about this but we live offroad, in a dip, so, as there’s no gritting, we regularly get snowed in and can’t go anywhere.

My car is rear-wheel-drive so driving becomes a dangerous and scary nightmare, Milly’s so small she disappears in it and supermarket shelves are cleared in minutes by panic-buyers.

One year all Morrisons could muster was part-baked baguettes and powdered milk.

A neighbour once persuaded a mate with a snowplough to help clear our road, but they’ve moved now so there’s no chance this year.

Roll on summer.