Important Messages, such as Service Disruption and Opening Times.

Our office hours are Monday to Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM UK time. We will try to give assistance to those people not living in the UK outside of those hours if possible.


From Bert: Careful What you Wish For

Hi, Everyone.

Goodness me! I bet you thought I had dropped entirely out of sight. No blog entry at all last week, sorry about that, I was terribly busy with work, and could not think of anything exciting to write about, so left it alone. Of course, if I had waited just one more day, I would have had all the excitement I could have wanted!

Gosh! I do not think I will ever forget the moment on Friday morning, when Brian came into the kitchen, sat at the table, and told me to leave the dishes I was washing, he had something to tell me. I was very puzzled, but I grabbed a cup of coffee, poured one for him and sat down. He then proceeded to make my jaw hit the floor when he told me that he and L would be spending time together at weekends, and when he got time off work, and that I could come to the Lair too, and live in what used to be Hinky's closet and take care of them both.

At first I did not know what I thought about this. The words "Snake-in-the-grass" slithered unpleasantly through my mind, but the more I thought about it, the more I came to see that this was the absolutely perfect solution to all my problems, and oh gosh, was I one happy lep or what?

So that very evening, I met Brian at the station, and off we set for the Lair. It is a lovely place, I have always loved it here, but I was never able to stay for more than a few hours. Now we have been here for almost a week, and to be honest, in lots of ways I never want to leave.

For one thing I have Hinky's closet all to myself. That is pretty special! It looks, to most people, like an ordinary storage and coat closet, but when I go in there it is a big room with everything I could possibly want. I have a lovely comfortable bed, a sofa, a desk and chair, even a huge tv on one wall, which I never watch, but I could if I wanted to.

For another thing, it is lovely and peaceful and quiet here. no ringing phones, no Emails to answer. Brian is not working so he is completely relaxed, which improves his temper I have to say! If life gets fraught then L plays her celtic harp on her phone, or turns on soft music or nature sounds, and things get calm again.

And of course, being with L is just... well I had better not say too much, as ever. I did always so hate the colour green! Giggling here. But seriously, she has been, and still is very poorly, and so has needed to be taken care of, and we have both helped in this.

So why the subject header then? My Mother always used to say that to me. She would say "Careful what you wish for, it may come true and you might not like it." Well, I do like it but, oh, it's like this. I have started to feel a tiny bit worried. Maybe I will talk to Brian and L about it some day soon. This is all lovely and idyllic, but do they not always say something about three being a crowd? I would really hate to be a spare part and get in the way here. Mind you, nobody has said I am, Brian and L are always really nice to me, so maybe I am working the whole thing up in my head. But I dreamed for so long about living at the lair, and taking care of L for always and always. I do not think I could bear it if it all goes wrong now. Oh, I do hope it is all ok!

Oh come on, Bert, get a grip! Brian and I need to eat, and I want to see if I can get some soup into L. It will be ok. I will write again as soon as I have any news. I hope you are all having a great week. Thanks as ever for reading.

Big smiles from Bert.

From Bert: With a Little Help From my Hand

Hi, Everyone.

Goodness me! Until today, anyone would think I had dropped off the planet, I have sent so few tweets this week! Well, the truth is, when I am at home, at work, busy and happy, I have not that much to tweet about, my life becomes pleasantly humdrum, and I do not like to bore people.

This has been rather a nice week, in which I have been working myself back into my usual place, getting everything back how I like it, and of course, doing the exercises I was given, so that the last of the wonkiness and weakness goes away.

A couple of sad things happened. Firstly, I heard about the departure of my best friend Hinky for the States. I had a phone call from a completely broken-hearted Tealy who, it seems, had been unceremoniously dumped. I am really sorry to say goodbye to Hinky, I will miss him, he was a lot of fun to be around, and he was a good friend to me, especially while I was in hospital. I really hope he is happy in the States.

The second thing is, Neville, Brian's broadcasting computer, got taken very poorly, which meant no Down for Double, which meant I did not get to see L. I have to say, this did not make me a happy lep. I tried my best to mend it, but this one was beyond my skills.

You may be thinking, he is a lep! Why does he not snap his fingers, or say, "abracadabra!" and pow! it is fixed, or a new computer just appears?

Well, the answer is, I am a lep, not a wizard. this is the real world, not Harry Potter! Giggling here. Anyway, they did not have computers, broken or otherwise, in Harry Potter. Well, the muggles had them but oh never mind, where was I?

Ah yes, um, things. What I can and cannot do. WE do not use the M word for some reason, everyone is really reticent about it, we just usually say things, or the helping hand, whatever. And here is the thing. WE cannot do it for ourselves. That is part of the lep code. Some of the things we do and say are just lep traddition, you might say, like not using the M word, I do not know why we do that. But this thing is serious lep code stuff. I learned it at Shana-sherin. The helping hand is just that, to be used to help the person I work with, or their friends or family. So, I could use it to get to L's when I was helping with the Lair, and if she had needed me to help her with it in any way, I could have. But as for using it to get out of the way of that oncoming car? Nope. Even if I had had time to, which I did not, unless I wanted serious trouble, I could not have done it.

But, you may be thinking, you, Bert, my long-winded friend, could have used the helping hand to fix Brian's computer! He is your boss! Well yes, I could, if it would work like that, but the helping hand only can do so much. Ok, if you want Neville lifted up into the air, sure I can use it! How high do you want me to lift it? Where shall I drop it? Giggling! Where shall I put all the pieces it breaks into! Giggling even more! See? I can do simple things. Lift things, move things, move myself about, I can do the apparate thing, and I do not need to remember the three Dees, desperation, deterioration and detonation probably if a human tried that! But I cannot conjure things that were never meant to be out of thin air, I cannot fix what is broken, I do wish I could! What I have is just a simple little thing, when it is called the helping hand, it is well named, because that is exactly what it is.

I was glad to have it this week, I can tell you. My just-mended arm is still weak, and I am finding that picking heavy things up still hurts me. So, I used a little help to pick up things like food from the oven, and heavy pans from the hob, and it all worked beautifully. Molly what's her face would have been proud of me, she would! There I was on Sunday, a plump sizzling chicken just out of the oven, hovering towards the kitchen counter, and a tray of crispy roast potatoes following behind it. The thing is, you must not get distracted, or the whole lot will hit the floor. I was guiding them down, when I saw the sprouts were ready, so I thought, I will grab them too, while I am at it. Up they came, as sweet as a daisy, and headed for the sink.

At which point, the kitchen door opened, and Brian came wandering in to ask me something. I turned my head to warn him to watch out, turned back, just in time to see the whole lot heading gracefully for the floor! Yikes in a box, as L would say! Luckily, the hand was still holding everything, so it was making a slow descent, but going down it was! I managed to get it all back in the air again, and got it to where it needed to be, but poor Brian as near as darn it got the boiling sprouts on his head! Using that much help takes it out of you. I was exhausted for hours after that and could not enjoy my dinner very much. Ah well. Never mind.

Talking of dinner, I had better stop boring all your ears off, and go and see about ours. It is lamb steaks with mint sauce, new potatoes and peas today. I will write more soon. Thanks for reading, and I hope you all have a great week.

Big smiles from Bert.

From Bert: Going Home is Such a Long Long Ride

Hi, Everyone.

Goodness me! I've been a quiet lep on the Twitter front this week! Well, it is because I have been mostly asleep. That bout of chestiness and high temperature really took it out of me, so I was content to read, listen to music, and sleep a lot, and I do mean a lot!

Now, here I am in a car, would you believe, on my way home to Merseyside. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to be heading there.

I say I am grateful, and that is true, but gosh! I actually hate riding in cars! I mean, how do you humans put up with it? It takes so long to get anywhere! I suppose you have no choice really. L says the train takes even longer. Goodness, what a terrible thought! One thing though: riding in acar gives you time to think things over.

You might say that getting hit by a car, being in a coma for the best part of a week, and having a broken arm, broken ribs and seriously cut, bruised and mangled legs wasn't exactly at the top of my Christmas list! But they do say it is an ill wind that blows no one any good, which means that, although what happened was seriously unpleasant, some good has come out of it.

The first, most important thing, is that while I was in hospital I got to see a person every single day, which was pretty amazing. In fact everything to do with that person is amazing, but we'll just leave that alone, I do not want this car to run off the road due to the appearance of another lep in it, in a swirl of green stars! I would like to get home in one piece, if that is ok?

The next good thing is that you really appreciate how many friends you have at this kind of time. I have really come to see how much I like where I work, and how many great friends I have.

I suppose the next thing is that a brush with the big lep colony in the sky makes you appreciate that it is rather nice right where you are. So I do not suppose I will go capering across anymore busy roads for a while! Giggle.

Once I am back at home, all I want to do is to get really well and strong as fast as I can, and get back to work! Gosh! I never thought I would mis work, but I do! I would give a lot now for about three hours of audio to edit, something really really tricky!

Gosh this car ride is so! Boring! L is listening to a book on her new IPhone, gosh! I nearly died when I heard she had got one, and Brian is working, surprise surprise! I am bored to death! I wonder what would happen if I just went on ahead. Hmmm. No, I had better not. I cannot, anyway, Brian has the keys. Bother! Oh well. I spy, anyone?

Big smiles from Bert.

From Bert: Home Thoughts from the Bored

Hi, Everyone.

Goodness me! It's been an up and down week! As you might know, I have completely ignored the advice I gave myself in my last entry, and behaved dreadfully badly. My temper has been horendous for most of the time! The only slight excuse I have is that I have felt ill for a lot of the week, and that with every day that passes for me in this hospital, I want more and more to be at home.

It seems strange, thinking about it, that home to me should not be Shana-Shirin, where I spent so many years, learning all I needed to know for my work. That was only ever a transient place, I was never comfortable, usually in trouble, contented, maybe, but not at home.

Nor do I really think of the place where I grew up as home. That was, as I have said before, not Ireland. Do I sound Irish to you? Giggling here. Nor was it in some cute cottage in a forest somewhere. Sorry to disappoint you. I grew up in a very crowded lep colony in an abandoned warehouse in the east end of London. No, I'm not going to tell you exactly where, and which one, and anyway it would not do you any good. We do not go around advertising our presence, you know! Giggling again.

We leps usually come from big families, but mine was bigger than most, and how my parents found enough food for us all is a mystery to me still. I suppose one lepling is much like another, but as I grew older, and you could distinguish me from the rest, I became aware that I did not fit in. My fourteen rowdy brothers were mostly interested in fighting, food, female company, and forgetting to do anything they were asked to do as fast as possible. My fifteen scatterbrained sisters were interested in one thing for as long as I can remember: boys.

I was different. In a fight you could knock me over with one hand tied behind your back, and I would run away before you had the chance anyway. Female company? Far too shy! Food? You eat it, then you get on with the next thing. I would do, with alacrity, anything I was told to do, I have always been eager to please, and my mad brothers seemed to inhabit another planet to the one on which I lived. I liked books, and I wanted to learn. I was fascinated with the kind of work we leps can do, if we are chosen. I read all the special study books I could get hold of, and began to learn about the secret and complex Leprechaun Code, the rules by which we must be governed, especially if we live and work in the outside world.

I do not know what my parents made of me, I think, as I was the quiet one in a very noisy family, I mostly escaped their notice, until, on my thirteenth birthday, the head of Shana-Sherin appeared at our dinner table, in a swirl of green stars, told my stunned family I had been chosen to work with humans, and must come with her forthwith, and, before I had time to say more than a slightly tearful goodbye to my parents, I had been whisked away to that rain-swept green place, with its haphazard seeming clusters of low white buildings, and I have never had time to go back to London since.

Good heavens! I have not thought of those times in years! So where is home now? Home is the house where I have worked for over two years. Warm and friendly, comforting and familiar. I miss it so much! I had really hoped that I would be able to go home today, but I have caught an infection, and although I am much better than I was, I am told I may have to stay here at least another week. I am determined to be patient at the delay, and not to complain about it. The fact that I am running a temperature and feeling rotten is not helping me, but hearing a recent recording of myself has made me realize that I will have to try and improve my temper, especially with those who have been so good to me. I will go on listening to the wonderful Team-Fm, reading, playing with Nia, my netbook, and doing whatever I can so as not to get bored, and hoping very much that this time next week I will be on my way home.

I hope you have all had a nice week, and are having a good day. I will try and write again next week. In the meantime, thanks, as ever, for reading.

Big smiles from Bert.

From Bert: Wanting it Now

Hi, Everyone.

Goodness me! This week seems to have gone on forever, but, looking back through my tweets, I can see that I have made progress.

For one thing, my Twitter followers went up dramatically this week, and to all who choose to read my tweets, not to mention my blog ramblings, I am so grateful. For another, I have been allowed to get out of bed and sit in my chair most days, and even to take short walks now and then, although my legs are still very bruised and cut, and still feel very wobbly. Also I have been taken off completely soft food, and been allowed to progress to more solid things. This is really wonderful, as you can imagine. I am getting a little better, and a little stronger every day.

I have times when it is hard to remember, but I know that I am one lucky, lucky lep, for all kinds of reasons. Lucky to have a great place to work, and a great person to work for, lucky to have someone incredibly special, I cannot say more, or it is green stars all around, lucky to have the best of best friends, lucky to have amazing people who want to know about me, lucky most of all, to be alive. So why, for a few days now, have I found it very hard to remember this?

Well, having a wonky head and mangled ribs does not help, oh, and an arm in plaster, it makes me very grumpy. But mostly it is plain old impatience. I want to be well now. I want to go home now. I want to get back to working on the Music Machine and Down for Double, and especially helping at the Lair, right now! and you can be sure I will not go running across anymore busy roads! Giggling here! Oh, and one more thing! I want a large, juicy steak, a big pile of chips, and about twenty onion rings. right. now!

My friend Lulu, L as I call her, says that good things come to those who wait. She is right too. I remember when I was at Shana-Sherin. OH, you wouldn't know, of course. That's where we do our training, when we have been chosen to work with humans. Gosh, it seemed as if that time would never, never end! It always seemed to be raining, there was always something I had to do by a certain time, and if not, as I said before, green stars all around! OH, green stars means a visit from someone at the top. If you are a lep, and you see green stars it means find somewhere to hide, because you are in deep, deep, very deep trouble!

Anyway, I got into my fair share of scrapes while I was doing human studies, Human History, Good Housekeeping, Cordon Bleu Cookery (Like I really use that a lot in this job), and a heap of other subjects I do not have time to write down here. Most of them were caused by me trying to cut corners. But in the end I learned that doing things properly and waiting got me the best results.

So I suppose I will go on having my grumpy days, but I will really try and remember, when my head aches, and I feel like nothing on earth, that this is only temporary, and if I wait patiently I will soon be home, and back at work again. Of course, if I forget, now I will be able to look at this blog entry to remind myself, won't I? Giggling again.

Gosh, I have gone on for long enough, it will be tea time soon. there had better be something nice. I hope you are all having a great day. Thanks for reading, and I will write again soon.

Big smiles from Bert.

From Bert: Christmas Surprises

Hi, Everyone!

Goodness me! I really will have to get myself hit by a car more often, I can see! Ok, getting hit was pretty nasty, but wow! the amazing things which have happened since!

Of course, the most amazing of all, I cannot ever talk about, unless I want to get myself into serious trouble with the lep top brass. In fact I am not even sure it is safe to think about it! But I know it was not a dream, and I will never forget it. Gosh, enough said about that.

What I can talk about are my amazing Christmas presents! Now I have a bluetooth headset, a present from L, so I can listen to Team-Fm on my IPhone whenever I like without bothering anyone, and believe me, in this place it has proved a useful gift. I also have a mini bluetooth keyboard from Brian, for sending texts and tweets. This has proved a real boon, as at the moment I am doing most things one-handed, so using the touch screen is not easy for me.

From Hinky I got a bottle of Champagne. This surprised me rather, but I gather he was looking at pictures on my phone while I was, well, shall we call it elsewhere, and found one of us at that rather nice restaurant, and he was reminded of how much I like “That weird Fizzy Wine” As he calls it. I am saving that for when I am better, of course, if I dared to drink it now, several people would not be happy! From Tealy I got rather a neat nightcap, which is stretchy, and covers up all these bandages, so I look presentable when people come to see me. She said being ill is no excuse to let myself go! That is just typical Tealy! I think if this had happened to her, and she had been conscious, she would have been doing her makeup in the ambulance driving mirror, bless her!

The best present of all came from Brian and L together, and I can still hardly believe it. They gave me a netbook of my own! Now I will never need to borrow Brian's computer again.

This is one of those presents that is so amazing you are scared to look away from it in case it disappears. But it is still here. It is a really cool Netbook, and of course, Brian set it all up for me days ago, but I have not been wel enough to play with it until today.

Once I had got it booted up I did not know what to do first, I felt like I had been let loose in a sweetshop. But once I had checked my Email and done a few things, I thought I would go and take a peek at my web page, and I got another surprise! I have been given a blog!

I am not really sure what has got into Brian! Anyone would think he was the one that got the bang on the head! I have been asking for my own web page and my own blog for over a year, and the answer has always been no. Oh well, I am definitely not complaining!.

What I am doing is yawning. This really has gone on long enough, my hand is getting tired, And anyway if I ramble too much you will all get bored stiff. So I will stop now, I want a nap before Down for Double. I am really looking forward to this one, I have always loved Children’s music, even if they did not have such a thing as Junior Choice where I grew up! I might enlarge on that one of these days, you never know.

I will write again when I have some news to tell, in the meantime, thanks for reading, and enjoy the rest of your day.

Big smiles from Bert.


Subscribe to RSS - blogs