Forgive me readers, for I have sinned!

Given that it has been around four months since my last confession, sorry post, I thought I had better do something about it. So here is a quick resume of what has been going on in the wonderful world of SFN Towers.

I spent January and February hobbling to and from work on crutches. A kind friend lent me a wheelchair which made going to the supermarket possible. Or should that be 'eventful' as Mr H thought it was great fun and behaved accordingly. He pushed me everywhere as fast as possible and did wheelies in the car-park; his favourite trick was to take a run up at the automatic doors, stopping only in the nick of time when they failed to keep pace with his speed. We regularly hit around 30km per hour in the veg aisle, slowing down only when we got to steak and red wine. I now know why small children often wail when in their pushchairs. It's because they are bloody terrified.

I survived all that, finished the teaching contract, got the plaster off and enjoyed a couple of weeks part time before the next contract started. I stopped enjoying my 'leisure' time when I discovered that the company I have been working for had gone into administration. At the moment, I have no idea when or even if, I will get paid.

Mr H spent March attacking the house. Floors and walls have been removed, openings made and windows installed. Sadly there is no likelihood of the floor going back in in the foreseeable future as floors cost money and until I get the four grand (and counting) that I am currently owed, that, my friend is that. The dream bedroom will remain a dream.....for the time being at least. Still, I do have a 'cathedral' style interior living space.

My one success has been dog training. I dealt with the naughty yapping puppy by buying one of those electronic collars that zap the dog when it yaps. Being tight, I bought a dodgy 'own brand' type job from Ebay. It basically electrocuted the shit out of her for 24 hours until we realised what was going on. On the upside, it cured her of her favourite pastime, barking at the horses back legs and having seen how effective it is, the kids are suitably chastened. After all, I'm the mother that tied Daisy to a tree with a lunge line when she was a toddler and had Max on an extending dog lead at the beach, so it's not beyond the realms of possibility that I'd resort to electrical behaviour control. They do it in the States after all and besides, anyone who objects, clearly has not shared a house with gobby teenagers.

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If you have a solution at James' fingertips I shall be more than grateful. Apart from that, having just been for my first walk since 21 February (short and without hounds) I know I gotta long, long way to go and doing something domestically useful might just be OK, so mussssshhh hounds!

James is your man really. He trained Mischa - our ridgeback - and was incredibly strict with him initially. Mischa is a really well behaved dog as we knew that we couldn't have something that size out of control. I'm pretty sure he downloaded an e book and used that as his bible. Will enquire!

Please Catharine, give me the real secret of your dog training. We have a GSD coming up to six. He went to classes at one of those places that normally do police dog training, then we moved here and since he has gone downhill no matter what I try. In truth, he is a lovely soft and affectionate fluffball but people are terrified of him. To make things worse, we had to replace a much missed departed old girl. The 'pup' has reached one in the last few days, so is physically fully grown but mentally a pesky kid. She makes the GSD worse because she encourages him... I know I should be in the appropriate group but you have stopped snapping at equine legs for which you deserve an award - each of my mutts who has done that was incurable! Perhaps the collar, two of them, nah four of them and keep the girls in check as you are suggesting. I've got at least six months to go before my stupid shoulder reaches anything like normality and then who knows if the bones don't make it and they give me a toy one...

Will keep fingers firmly crossed for you that the work situation is resolved and you receive the money you are owed!Glad you seem to be managing to smile through it all (though can't see from here if it's a smile through gritted teeth :-)). Thanks for the parenting tips!

We used the one, two, three method, which gave our daughters the chance not to be naughty. They always knew that there would be a follow through.

This is where modern parenting falls down. There is almost never a follow-through. A threat without a b ack-up is no threat at all and it does not take children long to learn that.

If that's sinning, then there's no hope for some of us!

No fledgelings left in our nest, but by gads, the idea of being able to use a collar like that way back when would have been a Godsend!

Good luck with getting your finances sorted, having recently been in a similar boat this side of the water, know how frustrating it must be! And 'Cathedral' living space? A 'murial' on that ceiling (or possibly between the joists) could be akin to the Sistene Chapel, perhaps?

Chin up, things always happen for a reason, although Mr H must hope that the role never get's reversed.......

Sinned? Not at all. Forgiven? Probabaly.

Great story, sorry about the down sides, good luck with the floor, or lack of it. Mind yer step, alors...

As my daughters are fond of saying: "Yes, mum but don't forget who chooses the nursing home" !

Gobby teenagers they may be (and I sympathise) but just remember that one day you might be permanently in said wheelchair and then who will have the the electric collar?

Is there a creditors meeting planned for said company do you know, and if so will you be there? Not got a clue how it works in France but in UK you have to lodge your claim.

I have successfully managed not to kill any of my four girls! Electric collars would have been used if I had known about them. Can you imagine Monday morning back to school after the weekend in our house! I have an empty nest, and I'm still celebrating! :-)

As the mother of two teenagers I would love to get my hands on an electric collar (or preferably two) I think it could be the perfect training device - and think that all teenagers should be fitted with them!! :-)

eee.....buggery buggery! what an annoyance...! amazing the way the companies never tell you its coming..and you find out the day they go into administration having wrung the very last drop of work out of everyone first. Fingers crossed tightly for you for your flooring...many years ago when paint effects were the bees knees...and I was ragging walls...and doing wood effect paint on bits of plastic....I came across a wonderful idea for a floor...the concrete had gone down....dried off....and was painted as tiles...very effective painting it was too...and then polished with well...polish...(polished concrete is very now I gather..) as chips...and will hold you for a year or two till you can afford the Travertine Marble...!!! keep smiling lovely...

I really can't say anything that might help with the frustration and anger you must feel after working for such a company and, perhaps, losing the money you have worked so hard for for your renovations.

Here is something to put a smile on your face.

Many moons ago my friends were troubled by a badger which came and overturned their dustbin each night.

As it was a metal dustbin, they brought the battery from their electric fence in the paddock and attached it to the dustbin. Sure enough, they heard the badger again, this time squealing and running off never to be seen again!

Using a broken leg as an excuse? Pffft as the French would say! Don't mean it, lovely. You've been through the mill a tad worrying about Daisy, breaking your bits, James occasionally looking like young Kenneth Branagh - I could go on. Don't worry about floors. Remember, industrial concrete is the new trend. Just put a skim coat and claim you're ahead of the times. As for putting Max on the dog lead, brilliant idea. I wonder if it would work with a 7 year old... xx

All I can do is wish you luck now and keep my everythingS crossed for you. Yee G-ds, and you worked your shapely beeeehind off, mit and mitout the wheelchair (had a giggle about Mr H's 'fun' with it) and now they may not even pay you. Okayokayokay, I won't swear!

Tons of luf 'n stuff.

Good for you, for finding the humour in what must be a very difficult situation: hope things get sorted out companies have some sort of insurance for bankrupcy to protect staff?