And That Was January

Sooo, I accidentally took a month off. I didn’t intend to, but January was chaotic to say the least. 

It started with us battling the insurance company over our car. Some idiot crashed into my car when it was parked outside my house, and they didn’t bother to stop. We battled over getting a courtesy car, over getting them to collect my car to assess it (11 days for a courtesy car for a disabled customer – and that was expedited by our phone calls and tweets. I dread to think how long it would have taken otherwise). And then, they decided to write my car off and withdrew the courtesy car, without telling us. Previously they had agreed to let me have the car to go to France for the holiday I was taking the kids on. We found out they had changed their minds when we called the hire company to get the paperwork needed to drive in France. It was eventually sorted thank goodness.

I had an important parcel to get to a client in the US. I booked a next day courier collection and waited. (I couldn’t go out because we didn’t have a car at this point!). The courier didn’t show. I rebooked for the following day and he didn’t show then either. I called the company who advised me to rebook again but said they couldn’t guarantee he’d definitely show up. I declined. They offered me credit against a future delivery if I’d rebook. Eventually, they offered to upgrade my order to a “more reliable” firm, but only did so 30 seconds after the deadline for collection the following day (Friday), knowing I would refuse, because collection wouldn’t be until Monday, four days later! In the end I got a refund and used a completely different company and the parcel arrived safely.

So that was the beginning of the month. We also had the chooks to contend with. The Avian Flu Prevention Order was extended until the end of February, so the poor girls are still confined to barracks. We had created a larger run for them, cleaned the ground with DEFRA approved disinfectant and covered the run with tarp. They were much happier but it didn’t last – the storms in the first half of the month made it impossible to keep the area compliant with the Order, and so they are confined to barracks once again. I was out in all weathers, battling with flying tarpaulins and wondering whose dustbin was sitting in the middle of my lawn. I bought them some toys to keep them amused – a xylophone to play (don’t laugh, I’ve seen it recommended in lots of places) and a hanging mirror with a bell. This video shows how much they love(!) the xylophone, but I can hear them ringing the bell and pecking the mirror all day.


We get the chooks food delivered in 20kg bags each month. I used Amazon Subscribe and Save and get all the pet food delivered like this. It saves me a fortune and stops me having to shift heavy bags and boxes around the place. The chooks were down to their last day of food when the January delivery arrived – just in time! Hurrah!  Only the delivery man broke the bag trying to get it out of his van and ended up with 20kg of layers pellets lining the floor of his vehicle. They’ll send another one tomorrow, he said as he drove off. Only that particular item was now out of stock, so I had to place a new order for a different brand and wait an extra day (thank goodness for Prime delivery, or we’d have been stuck!), and I willed the chooks to just eek out the pellets another day. They did. The new pellets arrived and they either didn’t notice or didn’t care about the change of brand. Not as fussy as the cats, thankfully!

With all of this, and a big Fibro flare up, I was pretty much done with January. I had had enough.

But we were not done yet.  I had a holiday to prepare for, and excluding the panic over a car, it all went well. I had some orders to finish before I went away and whilst doing that, I looked at my orders for the month so far and realised that in the first 3 weeks of the year, my online sales were already equal – to the penny – as my online sales for the whole of last year! Yup, I’ve been busy. January earned back some brownie points.

And then we set off on our travels. Plum’s first trip to France; Plum and PK’s first trip to Disneyland (Bean went 5 years ago with grandparents); first trip on a ferry for all three; my first time driving in France and my first trip to Disney. I’ll write another post about the trip, but suffice to say it was fabulous. January earned back some more points.

And whilst we were in France, the insurance company paid up, so when I got home two days ago, Stonelaughter encouraged me to get looking for a new car. Half an hour on Google and I was contacting a dealer 20 miles away about what seemed like the perfect car. We went to see it yesterday, and it was exactly what we needed. Same make and model as the car that was written off; same age, but better spec – two levels up from what I had had before; a nicer colour (not that colour is a factor in our car buying decisions to be honest, but it was a nicer colour); one thousand pounds cheaper than the car that had been written off. We bought it there and then (after getting another couple of hundred pounds off the price and agreeing on some minor work to be done – new reverse light and front wipers) and I pick it up next weekend! It was clearly meant to be. Even the number plate starts with the name we called Bean before he was born!

January’s been alright after all.

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