The house we went to see was on Wallace Road in Oldbury. It's the nicest kitchen we've seen so far, but the viewing itself was a bit strange. We were shown around by the bloke who lives in the house, who has sold it to the landlord/letting agent, who didn't actually come to the viewing. The house was nice enough, though it only had one reception room and the area wasn't particularly nice (there was a tower block a street away behind the house). The owners had done the kitchen really nicely, but I had a horrible suspicion that the landlord might come in, gut it and start over and we'd end up with something awful instead. Since there wasn't quite enough room for a dining table in the kitchen it just seemed like the landlord might decide to rip out half the cupboards and counters to make room for one.
So yeah, that was a no. We have another one to view on Saturday coming, again in Oldbury, which is the cheapest so far but has also been on the site for ages (I've mentioned it before - the Warley Road house) - it's by the agent who interrogate you and I anticipate even if we like it, we'll have to prove our worth to another picky landlord. Apparently they only seem to want people living in their houses who can actually afford to buy houses, which rather defeats the bloody point of renting. Meh.
After that we went home via town, realising on the way there that it was Pride weekend. We had some breakfast in the Briar (having left too early to have any before), where we ran into Abi and Anna (ex-Inliners), who were fuelling up for the parade. Unfortunately I have been too knackered to enjoy Pride in about four years so we decided against it, instead popping into the Works (picked up a new recipe book, containing useful information on how long to freeze stuff, and some presents for a one-year old), and then into GameStation (three Wii games obtained - Wii Music, Super Paper Mario and a Star Wars game for Paul).
I spent the rest of Saturday catching up on EastEnders and watching How to Train Your Dragon, which was quite good, whilst Paul was out for Jon's birthday drinks at the Yardbird (I wasn't in the mood for a loud pub or going out again).
On Sunday we went to Jen and Dave's for Acacia's first birthday bash. We had bought her a harmonica (well, that was more for Dave) and a duck hand-puppet that quacked three different tunes (Frere Jacques, London Bridge and Old MacDonald, if I remember rightly). It took Paul and I at least an hour to figure out that the different 'notes' the duck quacked were not random; shamefully, Dave figured it out in about three seconds. :P
I had taken an antihistamine before going to Jen and Dave's because they have cats, except I foolishly bought Sainsbury's own the last time because they were half the price of Benadryl for twice as many tablets, and only realised they weren't non-drowsy about half an hour later. Thankfully the party didn't last too long and we were back home again by about 3.00. I pottered about online for an hour or so and then joined Paul in a two-hour nap.
Oh, I forgot to mention - our oven is broken again. As a first attempt Paul stuck down the bottom lip of the seal again in the hope that would help, as it appeared to be not heating up and circulating cold air, but after a quick Google search it transpires it's the heating element that's broken. It is actually very easy to replace oneself if the oven is set up in such a way as to be able to unscrew it by just taking the back wall of the cavity off, except (of course) with ours you have to go in from behind, which means disconnecting the electrics. So that'll have to be a call-out job (found somewhere online which will do it for about £120 all in, which is cheaper than a new cooker). Thankfully the grill acts as an oven also, so we've had to use that. As a result, however, we ended up ordering pizza on Sunday night.
I can pretty much guarantee that once we've fixed the oven, the next thing to die will be our fridge. The door seal is not looking healthy as it is, and this flat seems content to drive me mad before we get a chance to move. :P
On Monday - as I probably should have anticipated - I woke up with a migraine. I haven't had one in several weeks and thankfully it was only mild, so it wasn't too bad. I took some Migraleve and went back to sleep for a couple of hours, and spent the day in my pyjamas. Paul cooked a roast duck dinner for tea (we invited Lisa up as well) and then headed off to Broken Amp for the evening, which I spent indulging in fandomosity.
I have a new Fandom Friend (I can't help but imagine that being said in the silly high-pitched voice they used in Inbetweeners...) who I think is from Poland (I haven't asked yet but the name would imply as such). She's doing her master's thesis and her English is superb - better than most of the bloody natives. She emailed me about my fanfics and we've been corresponding in lengthy essays ever since. The best thing is that the fandom in question is Jonathan Creek, and by sharing my fic and brain-splurges with Kate, as she's known, my JC Muses have been somewhat reawakened.
Also, the Muse-awakening was helped by a marvellous discovery. There was an archive of JC fic I thought was gone forever thanks to AOL deleting their user accounts back in about 2009, by an author called PeaHopeless. She has also written many many more fics for V For Vendetta, which has a much bigger fanbase and thus someone had backed those stories up (and she'd posted them to FFN). Unfortunately the JC fanbase wasn't big enough to warrant anyone doing the same for those stories.
Kate asked me for some lengthy fic (not specifically mine, just anything else I happened to have lying around - I sent her the 117-page one downloaded from jonathancreek.net), and happened to mention that she'd backed up PeaHopeless's fic using something called the 'Wayback Machine'. Curious, I googled it. Some complete, utter genius has created a website which trawls the internet for deleted sites (not sure how it works but I think it essentially screengrabs any instances of the website being accessed or some such), and would you believe it? It worked!
Some of the links don't work properly, but there are several alternative 'grabs' of the website still for me to check so I'll go through them tonight and back-up the stories to my hard-drive (I'm totally not losing them again!!) The fic itself is not perfect, by any means, but there are at least 20 stories and they're so brilliantly shippy that I really don't care. I can even overlook the jarring Americanisms (I do have to thank BCC America for showing JC or there would be even less fanbase than there already is) and the questionable characterisation, because seriously, there is so little JC fic around that what I can find is more valuable than gold. I was devastated when the AOL archive disappeared, and Pea herself seems to have vanished from the internet completely (more's the pity), with her last activity on DeviantArt being in about 2008, so rediscovering her stories last night was bloody amazing. I settled myself in with a bottle of Rekorderlig and some chocolate and spent a happy few hours reading away.
The resultant Muse-awakening wasn't much of any substance, really, just a rethinking of a particular conversation which takes place in my post-series-3 Angstfic (the prequel to the DoomFic, which as yet is still untitled). I anticipate several sleepless nights this week because obviously, the Muse-awakening decided to wait until the very end of my long weekend. :P
Actually, I need to rethink another conversation in that story as my Suspension of Disbelief Module kicked in and destroyed my dramatic / romantic ending. As ever, it was a perfectly-formed whole in my brain, until I tried to write it down. The trouble now is trying to keep some of the same elements but changing the physical location, and I'm not entirely sure how I'm going to manage it.
But anyway, fandom FTW! And I'm sure commoncomitatus will be pleased to note the prospect of new JC fic, though she should steel herself for my imminent poking for Vegas!fic. :P
Back at work today and it's a long time until my next leave. Once Paul's leave year refreshes in July I need to book my time off in September for a holiday, but I will probably need a day or two before then in any case... No choir tonight as it was a bank holiday yesterday and also half-term this week, so we're going to the gym instead, with our last personal training session tomorrow. Or, well, we're going to ask if we can drop to an hour per fortnight for a bit as £80 per month (£40 each) is more manageable than £160...
Ah, and it's now midday so I can post this. Huzzah.
PS: It has just occurred to me that I could use the Wayback Machine to retrieve my old Brinkster site, possibly. Hmmm. *scratches imaginary beard*