Sunday, 11 December 2011

Ho ho ho, it's that bloody time of year. Again.

Yes folks, the enforced spirit of joviality and one-upmanship is again upon us. Let us rejoice in spending money we do not have, on items we do not want, for people we do not necessarily care about (but whom we might "meet up with in 2012", even though we have not seen nor heard from them since 1998), and passing time with family members who cannot be avoided (duty and all that), eating and drinking more than is ever good for us, wishing we were somewhere hot and sunny and free of rubbish TV re-runs, all in the name of the birth of the Baby Cheeses.

And in that spirit, I give you the updated version of the LCM yearly circular, last viewed here and here.

Dear family, friends, plebs, hangers-on and wannabes

This has been a year of austerity. It is not just the embattled Eurozone countries who have been feeling the pinch, with the vultures hovering overhead ready to hone in for the kill. The LCM household has also had to watch its purse strings and pull its belt in another notch or so. Tough times call for tough measures, although I like to think that one person's misfortune is another's opportunity. Or something like that.

So - we had to do away with our cleaner and replace her with a more affordable option. I fortuitously came across a sweet older man who goes by the name of Dominique, or DSK, as he prefers to be called. Quite serious, a good worker, although he had a penchant for pouncing unawares from behind doors, scaring the living daylights out of me a couple of times until I sorted him by leaving some random pieces of the kids' Lego on the floor. Since treading on these in his stockinged feet, it has no longer been an issue.
I also made him wear a bell round his neck. Better than any sat nav app.

Food shopping has also been affected. With the cost of the Ocado delivery pass increasing, I took matters into my own hands. Some negotiations later I found myself at the helm of a lemon van, delivering my own groceries. Now this would have worked well had it not been the issue with neighbours who took exception to the bright yellow vehicle blocking their driveway for a week whilst the local constabulary kept themselves busy with documentation establishing rightful ownership and clamping rights before the sodding thing was finally towed away. So much for free enterprise and upholding the spirit of the bold.

Speaking of vehicles, the LCM household has had to do away with cars this year. We all converted to Boris bikes and applied for a permanent rack outside the house. Again, a few troubles with the neighbours who objected to the volume of traffic on their front door and their lawn being trampled. When I pointed out that they should join in and not be such moaning minnies, they took exception and reported us to the local authority for breach of planning permissions. I have passed this on to dear Zac who, given his environmental credentials, will - I am sure - be keen to fight our corner for us.

The children have also made some sacrifices this year. As we could not afford to buy new rugby boots all round, we have resorted to introducing new tactics in to the game based on sharing footwear. These consist of wearing only one boot at a time and hopping down the field at speed to score a try. The aim is to see how high you can jump over the opposition, not how far you can run through their defence. It may take a while to convince others, but we are sure that the RFU will support our efforts in the name of austerity.

Back on the home front, the cycling turbo trainer purchased for OH last year is proving very useful. We now have a twenty-four hour rota marked up for all family members - and friends and relatives, when visiting - to partake in a daily session to help generate power. Our heating bills have been curtailed enormously, although this may be down to the decreasing number of people coming to stay with us. They have assured me it has nothing to do with our efficiency drive, but I am doubtful.

And on that note, can I wish you all a terrific 2012. May the austere times make better people of everyone. I know they will of us.

As they say in Hounslow - laters!


Yeah, yeah, yeah - sodding cap and bleedin' fake snowman,
plus there's a blizzard in the office as well now! Gah!


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