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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Right, where to begin..? Well, two men from the council turned up on Friday afternoon and removed the fruity language from the noticeboard downstairs, so it's a good job I photographed it for posterity. They didn't fix the lift while they were here, but I did see them going up and down the stairs to check that no one had sworn on other floors.

Of course, the good thing about your lift being out of order is that it allows you to bond with grumpy delivery drivers who refuse to carry your stuff up the stairs. I'd ordered our shopping online this week, not, ironically, because of the broken lift, but because Tesco had sent us an £8 voucher, and because it's almost Christmas, and I prefer not to stand there trying to choose my vegetables in an aisle that resembles a tube train at rush hour.

The chap arrived on Friday evening, and promptly phoned me to say (in a slightly intimidating voice) that I needed to tell him which block we're in. I was tempted to point out that I'd provided detailed directions with my order, but he already sounded like he wanted to knife me, so instead I went out on the balcony and waved at him in a slightly camp manner.

Five minutes later, he phoned me again from the bottom of the stairs. Having discovered the broken lift, he could have popped up two flights and asked politely if I'd give him a hand, but instead he decided to phone me and insist I go downstairs in a tone of voice that suggested he'd been a prison officer in his previous job. Luckily for him, I'm easily intimidated, so I did indeed help him. Which is a euphemism for doing it all myself.

To be fair to the man though, I didn't quite do everything. He carried the last couple of bags up the stairs, and promptly dropped Lisa's jar of Loyd Grossman pasta sauce, smashing it all over the communal hallway, before placing another bag in the puddle. So having wished him a Merry Christmas, I put the shopping away in the kitchen while Lisa cleaned the floor by the broken lift. It was a good start to the weekend.

But things were to get even better. Amelie received her end of year report card on Thursday (which I may reproduce here at some point, just to embarrass her in later life), and it appears she's some kind of model student, so to reward the girl for her outstanding success in hiding her true personality from the nursery, we decided to take her to the cinema yesterday morning.

As we discovered three weeks ago, Cineworld at the marina charges just £1 a ticket for children's films on a Saturday morning. What we didn't know until this week, however, is that if you book online, you get 10% off. It meant that I was able to take my entire family to the pictures for a total of £2.70 (plus a complimentary baby).

The film we chose was 'Arthur Christmas', a festive family film from the producer of The League of Gentlemen, the writer of Alan Partridge and Borat, and the studio that made Wallace & Gromit, which stars the likes of Hugh Laurie and Bill Nighy, was nominated for a BAFTA and a Golden Globe, and gets an outstanding critic rating of 91% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Unfortunately Amelie didn't want to see it. We got up extra early to get ready, which meant we were able to spend a good couple of hours listening to her whining that she's been to the cinema before, doesn't want to go again, and doesn't like Christmas films anyway. With hindsight, we probably should have changed our plans, but at the time we were convinced she'd enjoy it when she got there, decided we knew best, and told her she's bloody well having a treat whether she likes it or not.

I did attempt to whet her appetite by showing her the trailer online...


... but having watched it, transfixed in silence, she then told me she didn't like the look of it.

So we drove her down to the marina in tears (mostly hers, but we were close to joining in), and picked up the tickets we'd paid for. To our relief, she agreed to go in, and for a while seemed to be enjoying the film (which was very well made and quite amusing), but having reached the halfway point, she suddenly insisted on leaving. So I have no idea how it ends. Frankly you don't argue with a loud-mouthed child in a cinema who announces that she wants to go home. Repeatedly, during a quiet part of the film.

We rewarded Amelie's politeness, humility and unfailing gratitude with a trip to McDonalds. Then we braved a pre-Christmas Asda with two children for a jar of Loyd Grossman pasta sauce. Which resulted in more tears when we wouldn't buy our daughter a toy. We returned home feeling tired, stressed and unappreciated. And that was before we met Father Christmas...

13 comments:

Phil's Mum said...

She HAS been under the weather - you have to make allowances for her!

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