Monday 29 April 2013

Running Up That Hill

Well that was a bit of an extended rest wasn’t it? For you dear Blog Sufferers Readers.
So where did we leave each other?  Well I was crashing off into the spare hoarded room attempting to carve a bedroom out of it for Major Dragon to return to, since her original bedroom frightened the life out of me (and I am a dragon!)  I did in fact, fill a people carrier with STUFF. So much stuff. A relative thankfully came and took it all to the dump for me.

…And it barely made a dent. *haunted expression*

It was bad. Really bad. I was flu-ey with pulled muscles in my back. And I did an excellent impression of a grieving statue on a coffin, over a box that was bigger than I am and about four times as heavy. I think I hoped the tears and snot would somehow dissolve it.  No such luck though. Major Dragon stormed back to the Hoard a couple of weeks later insisting everything was FINE and took up angry residence on the couch since I had “wrecked” her bedroom (moved what I could from the hall and spare room and parked it in her original bedroom’s doorway while bedroom carving.)

This would be all of us at rock bottom. All exhausted. All sick. All really bloody cross with each other.

Would we survive it?

Friday 11 January 2013


Did I mention what a stupid idea emptying an entire room single handedly in a hoard house, in less than a week, while ill, was?


Well it is. It really is.

(as an aside, things currently removed from the Dragon Hoard number such items as a five foot wooden lamp base, about 15 empty boxes, five huge fake flower arrangements. Or was it 6? I don't know but there are masses of dust filled fake flowers. A tv, a video, two large boards from a long dead piece of furniture and a stockpile of ancient and odd lightbulbs and 6 jigsaws. Plus two binbags worth of rubbish. I am barely 3ft into the room. This is going to get so much worse.)


Tuesday 8 January 2013

December Duckery And Dragons

Despite all the dragon mentions on this blog, I long ago decided that if I had to choose a totem animal it would be the humble duck. Serene above the waterline and paddling like hell underneath. Yes, that sounds like me. Also the quacky cuteness masking the evil terror that lies beneath the feathery surface., that Major Dragon insists that is definitely part of my make up.

Thanks MD.

This past month or so I have been at one with my inner evil duck. Well Christmas/any festive time is never an easy time in a hoarder household and you need the quacky evil within to keep you paddling through. Doesn’t that sound ominous? Well it was a festive period and a half. Eastenders would have looked at it and gone, “no that is a bit too miserable, even for us”

So what was going on when I last lifted my head above the parapet? Oh yes, Nic Cage and carpets. Well after those particular glories, The Dragon Hoard settled down in to a more humdrum sort of routine punctuated with arguments about impending “celebrations.”
Now the goal last year was to bring Christmas back under Major Dragon’s beady eye. (Not that she really gives a bugger about the season but makes quite a drama about having to leave the Hoard to attend it elsewhere.) That particular wish of hers died on its arse and I am ok with that. It was always months of hard labour in the Hoard to create space, just to achieve a day when everyone could sit about critiquing my cooking. Farming this out to Reformed Dragon means I get a small rest. Once I have argued Major Dragon into getting washed and dressed and into the car and arrived 3 hours late to face more Dragon rage. This is all a little challenging at the best of times. This year had a new dimension added to it in the form of Major Dragon contracting an infection. With the benefit of hindsight and Nic Cage sitting down and shutting up, I can see she must have had been fighting a low grade infection for quite a few months. And she is no peaceful, well behaved patient. After a painful December of 24/7 care of my dragon who was unable to so much as wash or dress unaided, during which I, of course, had to drag her near bodily to medical professionals. And in the end xmas ended entirely barely before it had begun, in Accident & Emergency, with me ordering that they admitted her NOW, before I ended up parental dragonless. 

Paddle paddle paddle.

I bet no CoH reading will be surprised by the next bit.

Major Dragon was slowly on the mend in hospital and I ventured into her bedroom to clear it up for a returning convalescing dragon. A few hours of hard labour later, I realised there was no way in hell I was bringing her back to that room or the bed, which I discovered was a mass of broken springs, holes and god knows what else. I am guessing that is where the infection she is fighting came from.

It was time to RELEASE THE DUCK. I hit 2013 and even though it is still making a good attempt at hitting me back, by the Ducks and Dragons, I declared this year was going to be DIFFERENT. Major Dragon was informed she was not returning to the Dragon Hoard till it was made safe for her. There was a fair amount of yelling and dragon corralling, winter illnesses hitting all of us in turn and long and boring logistical faff that I hope I never have to live through again. (fat chance I know.) Organising an invading army and ensuring boots, food and weapons for all would be a snap compared to this, I am sure of it. I thank the NHS, all the meds we are on and the crisis management training forged in the CoH battles over the years, for supplying the Paddle Power to deal with it, without crying and running away. Well, there has been no running away so far at least. It doesn't sound like progress but managing to stay vaguely in charge in the face of all this drama is one major triumph I won’t forget in a hurry.

Which has leads us to the current circumstances. Major Dragon is under the care and steely eye of Reformed Dragon for the time being. Who is determined that Major Dragon will get better and MAKE NO MESS in Reformed Dragon’s rather tidy home. MD is temporarily cowed by angry offspring, illness and a hiding of car keys by aforementioned angry offspring to ensure she can’t escape. But there is an annoyed growling growing as she grows stronger. I reckon I have less than a week to create a safe space and buy an new bed for her before she breaks free and stampedes angrily about like a particularly decrepit Godzilla. A family member has loaned me a people carrier with all the seats removed and parked it in front of the Dragon Hoard. I am going to fill it with rubbish. A lot.

Wish me luck. *paddles*

*JUST ONCE I would like an entry to post without bizarre formatting. BAD BLOG. If anyone has any ideas as to how to fix/avoid this, please do tell me. The last two posts have been nightmares! Edit number...7? Stripped out all the formatting and tried again. Twice. PLEASE BE READABLE NOW. 

Saturday 24 November 2012

Nought To Sixty And Mental Cornering

I am sitting in the middle of the floor surrounded by boxes and bags, covered in dust and with an odd Popeye twitch blink.
Two remarkable things about this tableau are:
1) I can actually sit in the floor. Not a lot of floor but STILL. FLOOR. I CAN SEE CARPET. 

And 2) I am not swearing or in a miserable heap, sobbing into a binbag. 

For November, with my defective brainmeats, that is nigh on a miracle. So am celebrating/binning/grinning madly. Especially since a few weeks ago I was ready to crawl into a nest of the rubbish bags and stay there till at least the end of March. Then with a medication boost I was a strung out Nic Cage with an attention disorder. Sort of “A little tired, a little wired, oh, SQUIRREL!” Definitely shades of Gone In (Less Than) Sixty Seconds. I make a terrible Nic Cage though. At least I hope I do. My ordinary state is quiet, still and inclined to nap, much like an elderly cat. When Nic Cage was on board my inner elderly cat was in a state of clawy panic and hanging on desperately. 

Naturally, with this titanic battle waging between my ears, I couldn't concentrate and ran out of dehoarding motivation fairly quickly. The elderly cat would merely wonder if it could sleep on an item and if not, lose interest and Nic Cage ran about yelling about bunnies and forgetting what the question was. 
It was an exciting time in the Dragon Hoard and no mistake. I raged about the Hoard to no purpose at all, or lay on my face eating biscuits. Major Dragon couldn’t work out whether to yell at me for my lack of work in the Hoard, give me cake or cautiously ask about what was going on. She generally settled for picking one each evening depending on what mood she was in. Since Major Dragon hates this time of year too, we are an operatic party of fortissimo voices and clattering kitchen rage at the best of times. The neighbours have probably stuffed entire pillows in their ears. 


Um. Where was I? Well, I would like to explain how everything worked out in some sort of sensible way how I wound up on the floor binning but I am not very sure. I have memories of having Nic Cage moments at stupid hours of the morning and I think I gave up and tried to find something to do. Next thing I know it is… some time later and I have filled the wheelie bin. And I am a good chunk calmer. I don’t know what is in the bin but the medication ensures I don’t really care. Excellent.
And Major Dragon? You won’t believe it but while Nic ran amok, she decided to show me up by doing some clearing. And she found some bags marked to go to the charity shop. Now the CoH readers know the drill. Open the bags, check for valuables, opt to keep most of said “valuables”, sorting them into a fresh stack of boxes and bags, well, halfway before getting tired and/or bored, and leave them scattered in the nearest goat path so you feel like a Olympic hurdler when trying to get to the bathroom. And then they look on in blank bafflement at their offspring while they hammer their heads off the nearest wall again because stuff just won’t leave. I was gritting my teeth preparing for the inevitable head/surface contact as MD told me cheerily about her discovery…

“Sorry, you did what?”

“I said, I did like the books tell you to and left the bags sealed to take to the charity shop since they were marked with the yellow stickers” 

*blink blink* 

She really did that. Not even Nic Cage was ready for that one. 

Okay, they haven’t gone to the charity shop yet, but she still hasn’t touched them. Not one quick “just in case” double check so far. I can’t quite believe it. 
I am not sure what demented movie actor has got a hold of the steering wheel in Major Dragon’s head but long may they keep driving.

(PS. Hopefully that is the formatting of the post fixed.  It went a bit Nic Cage too I think. Tell me if it is still all weird and gappy and justified)

Sunday 7 October 2012

Big Rivers And Books

Ahoy there!  

I am taking a small break from paddling upstream way of life that is dehoarding.  To catch up with how you all are, how I am, what the date is, is that a new haircut? It looks lovely.

So how is the mighty Dragon Hoard? 

Still hoardy, with Dragons popped on top like slightly irate cherries.

But you could have guess that one I think.  The interesting challenge of a blog is how many different ways I can say “same shit, different day” before we all fall face first into our keyboards snoring.  (I sometimes wonder if eventually I will reach a madly hysterical point in blogging when I just open a post with “Dear Readers, AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!” and just batter my keyboard with a cardboard box before pressing send. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA… oh wait. No. *smacks self in face*)

I may be a tiny bit sleep deprived.  I am having the weirdest dreams about cleaning. One night there was a full scale nightmare about trying to scrub the cooker which had stuff falling over it. The following one was about cleaning the bathroom.  Once I had found the bathroom.  Then there was the one about filling the wheelie bin and trying to get it down to the street to be emptied.

It appears that whatever I am thinking about just before I sleep, whatever I am doing during the day, my brain seems determined to do a rerun of it.  I am a long way from the days where my brain played entire Words With Friends games in my sleep, my brain is set on sleep action.( Actual coherent words.  It is more than I ever manage when conscious, I will be honest.)  It is getting to the stage where I wish my body joined in with the brain on the sleep cleaning.  It would be amazing to wake up to that!  In the meantime I am gently trying to bore myself to sleep by staring at comfortable looking couches and beds on Pinterest. The hope is that my brain fixes on these and I could have a nice peaceful dream about sprawling out on a comfortable piece of furniture.  Knowing my luck I will dream about dreaming of sleep, fall down a rabbit hole and utterly confuse myself but even that would be better than my nightly housekeeping horrors.

So a fuller status report without the dream cleaning?  Autumn has well and truly fallen over the Hoard.  So my awake hours have been filled with preparations to at least ensure the Hoard is wind and watertight. Well less Hoard care and more preparations for the survival of the inhabitants.  The UK is generally a land of milder, very wet and miserable winter weather with occasional attacks of genuinely wintery snows, winds and temperatures that stab you in the lungs when you venture out of doors. So I decided to get ready for either, or indeed both. The garden has been cleaned out, cut back, swept up and hoard items pushed out the house to molder out of the sight of a beady eyed Major Dragon were snuck into the bin. The gutters have been cleared of what looked like an entire hydroponics garden. The garage has been arranged to minimise the damage of its leaking roof.  A rubbish pick up has been arranged for garden rubbish.  The outside tap has been shut off. Next up is digging out the goat paths to the radiators to discover if they are still working and attempt to clean up/bleed/etc to let the house be heated somewhere slighty above igloo level. Since I don’t hold out much hope of that, I have washed all my bedding so I can make a hibernation nest.  I am not good with winter.  I spend most of it sitting next to a radiator in about 20 layers complaining bitterly.  Is that Dragony?  Must be I guess.  I need to be kept in a steadily heated, slightly moist environment.  My quest for this is near religious. (lots of failing with wailing and rending of clothes)

Let me show you a clueless Dragon’s holy books.

 2012-10-06 11.45.17 HDR

2012-09-29 12.24.48 HDR

Yes I pursue the science of home comforts in a religious way.  I think a lot of children of hoarders might do the same.  But that might be another post.

The first book has been a constant companion for years.  Getting workmen in is…difficult.  I do my best to make it happen but I will attempt a lot of simple things to ensure we don’t have to do without anything crucial.  This is one of the bonuses to learning hoard survival.  You learn more than that, you learn quite a bit of just basic survival.  Come any apocalypses and we may find we have a jump start on disaster management.  And generally CoH’s agree that we develop some interesting skills from living with hoard and hoarder.  I am only just starting to become aware of that.   That is another thing that might grow into another post of its own once I have finished thinking about it if anyone is curious.

The second book was a buy from Amazon on a whim.  It was a penny plus postage so I thought it was worth the gamble.  The first book tells me a lot about how to survive various domestic disasters but the real danger of living in a hoard is well, forgetting how to actually live.  Disaster management, hoard survival are all very useful but that is the temporary emergency shoring up and not a long term solution.  Sometimes you are buried in stuff for so long you really can’t remember what it was like to live in any other way. 

You could say I am digging this time to find the me that was here before the hoard. It would be nice to find Major Dragon too but one step at a time I guess.

Saturday 18 August 2012

Put The Flags Out

For I have returned!  From somewhere.
Well you see there was this parrot…and it…with the…and…with the …dog…but…fell…and then he ATE the…danced…then Kate said…lost her tiara and then…GOOOOOOOOLD!
But I promised I wouldn’t tell.
It has been the summer of highs and lows. And that was just the weather here on our little party island. There have been quite a few instances of just shutting the door on the Secret Dragon Hoard and getting out and enjoying the UK before 2012 is over. We have no wealth to speak of but our Diamond Queen and a hefty whack of gold, silver and bronze.  The Jubilympics have been pretty good really.  My cynicism vanished somewhere down a goatpath  in the Hoard and I haven’t been all that keen to dig and recover it. It is probably sitting, irritably chewing on dustbunnies, waiting for me to fetch it from the depths.
So in a round up of the last 3 months here at the Secret Dragon Hoard, let us take a look at the scoreboard! Points win me empty spaces! 
Secret Dragon vs The Hoard
Hoard is still a landfill with doors and a roof, I have not managed to wish it away in my sleep, alas. (despite some serious mental effort.)
Secret Dragon 0 Hoard 1
The knives are still sleeping. (I am actually scared to touch them in case they get cross again.)
Secret Dragon 0 Hoard 2
One operational tv still.  Which is in Major Dragon’s bedroom.  It struggles bravely on but when it hiccups from overwork, the roars can be heard across the land.  But I am refusing to give in and sort out the dead ones downstairs till Major Dragon removes the box fortress she has created around them.  I think this might be tv war.  All I know is that all the smaller tv’s have somehow flocked together in MD’s lair including the one I technically own and I had managed to previously keep out of her clutches. Curses!
Secret Dragon 1 Hoard (including MD) 3
MD managed to sneak away my tv while I was away visiting friends (it was amazing! There were carpets! I miss carpets. And skirting boards.)  I think it might have been a shot back at me after I, with the aid of Reformed Dragon and her long suffering boyfriend (I feel certain the mere mention of Avon would trigger some serious flashbacks for him,) spirited the computer table out the house when MD was out at work. She HAD agreed to it leaving, if you remember, in the last post.  But naturally whenever I attempted it, had a myriad of utterly crucial reasons why she still needed to keep it. Up to and including want to use it as a dressing table, work bench and paperwork area. Considering I am currently squeezed on the less than 1ft x 1ft space on the couch not inhabited by boxes of papers, with my laptop resting on them, you can picture just how well the last suggestion went. 
Sod it, even with the tv loss I am totally taking the point for this one.
Secret Dragon 2 Hoard 3
Deep clean of the littlest room. Bathroom attacked with Barkeepers Friend.  And bleach.
Mysterious stains in bath finally removed (they have driven me bats for YEARS and nothing would shift them.)
Toilet seat accidentally wrecked with a slightly over generous hand with the bleach. Oops.  So I added some stains back in the bathroom after I took the others away. 
Might have to call that one a draw.
Secret Dragon 3 Hoard 4
You may have temporarily bested me Hoard but I have plans and a to do list and I am not afraid to use them with a stern face and squooshy antibacterial spray. *determined face*
Before I stride off into the sunset, dragging a rubbish bag and cloths like a raggedy cleaning peacock, I shall share a non table moment from Major Dragon this summer. She turned to me with a baffled expression, “I know I bought all this stuff” *arm wave at 3 irons, two steamers, kettle and hand blender all still in boxes in front of her chair* “I don’t remember doing it but I have seen the credit card statements.  My brain must have hiccupped or something” 
Since then I don’t think she has bought an electrical item.
Major Dragon 1 Hoard 0

Thursday 17 May 2012

The Hoard of The Flying Knives.

Progress is a terrifying thing.

Especially in a hoarded house since things get way worse before they get better. Clearing can be a bit like going bananas in a forest with a chainsaw. You do flatten the trees but the chances are high that the trees will be equally as successful at flattening YOU.

Flashback to the conversation that started it:
Major Dragon: ..."and it is only 50 pounds, so what do you think?"
Secret Dragon: "yeah, if you want" thoughtcloud above head: "what was 50 pounds? Oh hell, what did I just agree to?"
MD: "great! Then you can get rid of that horrible office chair"
SD reflex response: "and that knackered computer table"
MD: "yes"
I mean, you ALL know how she feels about tables.
Stupidly after the initial panic I just rolled with it. To discover that MD was replacing my beat up faux leather office chair (that I brought in as MY chair and refused to part with as there was no room for me on the couch) with a new swish one a workmate was getting rid of. At speed. At such speed it arrived on the doorstep before I had even figured out a space for it. We ended up half an hour before the chair landed trying to ensure the front door could even open wide enough to allow my new swish seat to enter. (yes, mine. She thinks we will share it but the couch is her dance space. My Swayze face of Steel says so)

The chair duly trundled in and squeeeeezed into the hall. And spent the evening there being sidled around. But alas. The trees were waiting after my chainsaw massacre style tidy. I carried my teapot past the chair and got caught. The chair bounced off me, the front door and then off me again knocking me into a large shelving unit.

And the trees fell.

Or rather a fish tank lid, complete with bulb and flying cables, a plastic poncho, a metal pot lid holder, a copy of Attitude magazine with a naked man on the front and what felt like 3 tons of polystyrene shot off the top of the shelves and launched themselves on to my head. And of course since I was jammed between chair and shelves there was to be no leaping to safety. Also rooting me to the spot was pure terror. On the shelf behind my shoulders was a box of old kitchen knives waiting to be disposed of, and I could feel something cold and metal against my neck...

So I stood there. While Major Dragon grumpily hauled herself to her feet for the slowest rescue ever grumbling the whole way. It was like being rescued by Pratchett's Foul Ole Ron. She opened the living room door and was distinctly underwhelmed to find me standing in the middle of a scene of carnage with a large fish tank lid and an equally as large knife balanced on my shoulders. And still clutching my teapot.

I suppose it says far too much about me that the first thing I did was hand the teapot over to be put down somewhere safe, doesn't it? SAVE THE TEAPOT, IT IS MY ONLY HOPE. I won't even pretend it was the almighty thump to the head.

And really, I am glad I did. I definitely needed restorative cup after phase two of the Get the Chair Into A Room Operation. While balancing the chair over our heads in a bid to fit its padded majesty through the not so large living room doorway we ended up next to the shelving unit again. And the knives were still angry at being disturbed from their peaceful slumber.

Let us just say, I don't think I will need to cut my toenails for a while.

I think I may spend the rest of the week telling myself that the mild concussion, limp and large leather chair means I can do a brilliant Bond Baddie impersonation.

PS. I feel I should apologise to the poor soul while searching google for the "hidden hoard of hotness" wound up here instead. I suspect these were really NOT the droids ladies you were looking for.