Words that flow...

Words and images - powerful elements of our everyday life. Most of the time we take them for granted, but sometimes something happens to make you aware of how important they are... and how thankful you are to have the opportunity to use or appreciate them. Here lies some of my words and pictures (which are untouched apart from cropping, unless I've said otherwise) - Please add your words to mine, and leave a comment. Thanks for visiting!

18 February 2007

My daughter sleeps in an aquarium!

Well, what a brilliant holiday this has been - the kids didn't have so long at their dad's, before sickness won the day - Chicken pox for the half-brother and sister, bronchitus for step-mom, and bugs a-brewing for my youngest two... and they so kindly carried everything they could back here :-S

Still, my daughter's all well again now, and my son's improving all the time (Ok, so it's 'ups and downs', but that's an improvement on down!)... and I've got a whacking great headache, drippy dose, aches and pains galore... (nope, not enough to stop me blogging ... only the kids can do that! :-D ), but it could be worse... I could be confined to bed doing nothing, FK!

But, although I've been confined, pretty much, to the house, when my son improved a bit I was able to nip out and get some bits 'n' bobs from the DIY shop... and made my lovely daughter's dream come true!

About a year ago, there was a fire in my R's room (it wasn't hers back then) and it was a smelly mess (anyone who's ever had a housefire will know what I mean by smelly!). The insurance people came in, and painted it with some stuff to stop the smoke marks coming through, and sprayed it with a cherry-smelling steam to remove the lingering smoke odour (which pervaded the house from other directions for a long time to come - from all the things you don't think to get dry-cleaned, or old possessions you couldn't face dumping!), then covered the walls and ceiling with a basic layer of cream and white paint respectively. And that's how it's been ever since.

(The result of a 'night-light' candle left sitting on a plastic storage box!)
btw - although it doesn't look so bad, hangers inside the wardrobe
the other end of the room were totally melted...
and the corridor outside the door was charcoaled!


This was an account of it to a friend at the time:


So, My amazing streak continues... How long is it now? Must be over a year things have been rained down by the powers of the universe :-( And what is it this time? J's room was gutted by fire last night.... It is now a lovely shade of charcoal... and the aroma - so distinguishable!
I have to say that the luck wasn't totally against me - we all got out, and no-one was hurt (apart from one blister on my hand, where I stupidly opened the door [well, how was I to know there was a roaring fire behind it???!!!]). J was particularly lucky, in that I overstayed my welcome on the pc, and he got bored and fell asleep on the sofa - which probably saved his life! The others remembered the fire drills we'd had, and moved like lightening down into the garden! (All except that silly, mutton-headed Sparkey, who had to be kicked out be the neighbour, since he'd made himself too comfortable on C's bed! :-)) My neighbour was the hero of the hour/ night - grabbed a bucket full of water, and rushed on into the bedroom! A couple more like that, and we had the fire out, just lots of smoke and a smouldering heap in the middle of the floor, which the firemen removed...
Poor kids froze their butts off sitting in the car for the next hour, whilst we sorted out what happens next, and the firemen removed all the debris and dumped it out front... But, couldn't help thinking, as I drove over to K's [sister], that we'd had a lucky escape - and hey! We get to have the room and hallway decorated by the insurance company, and once they've fumigated and cleaned the carpets throughout the house (shame I have to come up with the first £200, but c'est la vie!), and I've washed all the carbon deposits out of clothes and linen, it'll be good as new!
By the way, if anyone wants to buy me the winning lottery ticket, I think it's about time that things distinctly improved!

and:

I'm writing looking through a soot-blackened screen right now... what a scarey night it's been!

Just a little while after I wrote to you last night, I heard a door rattling upstairs, and at first thought it was one of the kids messing about. Then I realised they were all asleep, or should have been, so I went up to investigate. J's door was rattling away, and I thought it might be a dog trapped in there, or perhaps he'd left the window open for some reason. Opened the door, and was blasted with flame and smoke!

From then onwards, it was panic stations. Fire alarm went off with the smoke coming out (course I shut the door, but it was there anyway), and I was shouting for the kids to get up. Luckily J had been waiting for me to come off the pc last night, and because I was having trouble with the new M Outlook, I took longer than I meant, and he'd fallen asleep on the sofa downstairs (thank god!).

So, that was it - called fire brigade. new neighbour came charging in and started throwing water on the flames (and amazingly, considering the extent of the damage, more or less put it out before the fire brigade got here) Had 2 fire engines, police car, 2 ambulances outside. They left in the small hours of the morning... and we all went, still in night clothes, to stay at [my sister's].

Wow, it stinks here! and everything's black and greasy :-( The room upstairs will have to be gutted, to check electrics etc, and total redecoration (Hey, I'm not complaining about that!) Got to get new bed and electrical toys.... But all I keep thinking is 'it could've been worse!' (funnily enough, I'd been telling C off earlier in the evening for saying that, because everytime I say it, it is!!! :-( One day things'll change around... Most important thing is we're all safe and sound....


So, although I haven't done all the things I was going to this holiday, being trapped in the house this last week hasn't been a waste of time. R's room got decorated. And apart from another couple of layers of gold round the top (which I'll do once I don't feel so rotten), she lives in her perfect aquarium! :








© Annelisa Christensen 4:51 pm

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17 Comments:

At February 18, 2007 8:01 pm, Blogger QUASAR9 said...

(not sure that went thru)

Wow Annelisa! I'm impressed.
Sounds like you are one self-sufficient lady, you should have said and I would have come down given you a hand - lol!

So swimming with dolphins in the day, Dreaming with dolphins at night
All you need is Enigma playing softly in the background, and you've turned the whole room into a real 'dream catcher' -

but to be safe I wouln't use candles anymore, just as environmentally friendly (and cheaper) to use energy efficient electric lights - I know they are expensive, but the council here gives those citizens who visit their environment centre a free (once each year), Just a thought!

 
At February 18, 2007 8:24 pm, Blogger Annelisa said...

Lol!

Ha ha, Quasar! It wasn't due to electricity he was using candles, but because he likes different scents. However, he had already been told he shouldn't have them in his room... lesson learnt! (Besides which, I'd been trying to get him to clear the floor for some time - another lesson learnt - there was one little cardboard box left afterwards!!)

I can hear Orinocco Flow (I know that isn't spelt right :-) ) playing in the distance right now...

Believe me, Q9, on the self-sufficiency angle, I rule. Trying to learn to not be quite so self sufficient, and allow a little help to come my way sometime... but it's not easy after so long of doing everything myself :-)

btw... what weren't you sure went thru?? :-)

 
At February 18, 2007 10:16 pm, Blogger Mother of Invention said...

That's such a cool motif! Is it all one piece of wallpaper? She must love it...I do!
I'm glad you were all right in the fire episode. I know it's scary.

It seems like your insurance should have done more though. In our garage fire, they paid replacement value on several pairs of skis, 2 bikes and lots of other stuff plus rebuilding. My husband ended up with a bike worth $3000 when he only spent $600! I should have said there was a diamond ring in there somewhere! HA!

No amount will ever replace my first cat, Goblin , who perished from smoke on the rafters where his little bed was....sniffle....

Hope you're perfectly well soon.

 
At February 18, 2007 10:49 pm, Blogger Annelisa said...

Jeez, MOI - that's awful about your cat... I know that if one of my dogs (won't even go into kids! :-( ) got left in the fire, I would have been devastated!

About 10 years ago, a friend of mine had a party, and this guy (who hadn't been invited) started a fire when they were all asleep afterwards. There was a really nice man who ended up not coming out of there - it was so awful. The one that started the fire got off as 'not mentally stable' - he'd gone straight back to his grandparents' place, turned the gas oven on and then the heater in the living room... luckily they came out of it better off!

But, the loss of life through fire - you just imagine, don't you... and the imagination is a horrible thing, because it allows you to explore how awful it is in it's entirety. When you are actually there, the fear, the adrenalin... that actually stops some of the pain, that you would imagine would be there...

I was totally and utterly honest about what was in the fire... besides which, the insurance company went through the debris with a fine tooth comb... Virtually everything was chucked.. I managed to grab a couple of photos out of the dumping bag, and that cockatoo picture you can see on the wall, which I made out of sweet wrappers for J when he was about 4!

R loves her room... How she loves it!! The fishes were found by a stroke of luck... when I was looking for paint, I happened to walk down the wrong aisle, and my eye caught on these kiddie self-adhesive wallpapers. There wasn't enough for all four walls, but we cut the dolphins and fish out of the endpiece, and stuck them on the last wall :-)

 
At February 19, 2007 12:01 am, Anonymous Brian said...

Beautiful room! Love the wall coverings.

Glad everyone is getting better finally and hope you have a good week.

 
At February 19, 2007 12:07 am, Blogger Annelisa said...

Everyone except me, Brian :-(

Thanks, hope you have a good week too!

 
At February 19, 2007 1:12 pm, Blogger My Marrakech said...

Thank GAWD nothing worse happened. Wow. Scary.

 
At February 19, 2007 2:58 pm, Blogger Katie McKenna said...

The room is really wonderful Annelisa! So colourful, playful, bright! I thinks it is fabulous! Great job!

 
At February 19, 2007 3:18 pm, Blogger Akelamalu said...

FABULOUS room!

Love the photographs on your blog.

 
At February 19, 2007 7:54 pm, Blogger Annelisa said...

Yeah, that's exactly what I keep saying Maryam! It could've been a lot, lot worse!

The scariest moment, strangely, wasn't getting the kids out (that was just surreal) - it was the moment of opening the door and seeing flames fill half the room! Can't think of anything more heart-stopping! :-(

 
At February 19, 2007 7:56 pm, Blogger Annelisa said...

Thanks Katie and Akelamalu - it was fun to decorate the room together, and we were both pretty pleased with the results! :-)

And thanks, Akelamalu, for enjoying the photos! :-)

 
At February 19, 2007 10:23 pm, Blogger QUASAR9 said...

Hi Annelisa, the comment.
I posted the comment and nada
So I thought at post it again, and thought I'd let you know it was a second attempt.
Sometimes I post a comment again, and the first comment then shows up

Trying to learn to not be quite so self sufficient, and allow a little help to come my way sometime... but it's not easy after so long of doing everything myself :-)
Yep, being independent for tooooo long can make accepting help or sharing one's close inner 'space' & personal 'time' a wee bit strange

 
At February 19, 2007 11:33 pm, Blogger Annelisa said...

:-D Know the feeling about the comments, Q9! Too often!

Funny how closely you can hold that personal time and space to you... in fact, how selfish (meant in the trueist sense of the word) you can become...

It would be hard to become totally selfish with children around to care for, but there are moments... ah, those moments... :-D

 
At February 20, 2007 1:55 am, Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Fires have to be the scariest. If my neighbour come over to tell me there were flames coming out of our garage,it would have caught the house too. It was 3:00 a.m. and someone in a car stopped and knocked on her door 'cause they thought it was her house. She'd just moved in and I hadn't met her yet. What an introduction.

 
At February 21, 2007 12:08 am, Blogger Annelisa said...

So you've had the fire nightmare too, MOI - horrible isn't it! And the worst is knowing how easily they can kill and maim...

It's a coincidence that this is how I met my new neighbour too!! He only moved in a few days before, and there he was putting out a fire in the adjoining house (bet that worried him!! :-S )

 
At February 21, 2007 8:06 am, Blogger TopChamp said...

I lurked! Sorry - meant to comment...... Oh well.

 
At February 21, 2007 8:25 am, Blogger Annelisa said...

Lurk away, TC :-D

 

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