Wednesday 30 April 2008

Fourth anniversary blues

Today the carpet should have been fitted in the hall, stairs and landing and everything, in the cottage, should have come together in time for the fourth anniversary of our moving here. But, true to form, I have had to cancel the fitting of the carpet because the decorator is still here. This morning his 8.30 start was 10.45 and thankfully he finished this afternoon. If the job had gone on long enough he would have been arriving in time to go home. Now I know why we have tried to do as much of the work on the cottage, as possible, ourselves. Nothing, absolutely nothing that has been done by a workman has been done on time. Before we can have the carpet fitted the plumber needs to fit the radiators on the hall, then I need to clean and maybe we need to do some touching up of the woodwork. It is probably going to be about the middle of May before I can rearrange the carpet fitting. So once again the champagne is back on ice.

Sunday 27 April 2008

Going underground

Yesterday afternoon we spent filling in the burrowings of the rabbits that have taken a fancy to our garden. I have seen at least two adults and one baby. They may be very cuddly to look at, but our garden is showing signs of their destructive nature. I wouldn't mind if they would pull out the weeds and tidy up the borders but they are digging up plants and throwing soil all over the place. One afternoon, last week, I tidied up the rabbit's attempt at gardening only to go back about two hours later to find that it had had another go at it. So we have bricked up their burrows and put the soil back and for the worst affected flower bed we have bought, in desparation, an ultra sonic animal repellent.

Wednesday 23 April 2008

Coronation Street meets Dallas

Our next door neighbour, Del boy, has got his new gates and fence up now. There used to be a rusty old gate to the side of his house and to the front of his house he looked onto two metal gates that were neither attractive nor unattractive. We saw them from our bedroom window and accepted them as part of the charm of the countryside. The old gates did not belong to Del boy, who is a townie, but he looked at them and he wanted to look at his idea of what the countryside should look like. Initially the owners of the gates would not let him change them but they appear to have given in to him. Now there are two wooden five bar gates joined by a close boarded fence. The gates although acceptable do not look quite right. Most of the gates around here into fields, which is what these are, are metal gates, which are more often than not, old and rusty. The fence is wrong as countryside fences are generally posts and rails. It looks at bit like Southfork. I'm almost expecting to see J R and Sue Ellen out there.

I am now wondering where we are living. Our rear bedroom window looks out onto the opening scenes of Coronation Street and our front bedroom window looks out onto the opening scenes of Dallas.

Sunday 20 April 2008

Fence posts at dusk

No need to fly to Las Vegas or stay up late into the night to watch a fight, we had one virtually on our door step last night. At about 7.30 pm, just as we were about to have our Saturday night aperitif my husband excitedly called "come and watch this." Our next door neighbour, Del boy, was having an argument with the dairy farmer. We guess about the new gate that he has put up, which the farmer does not like. The confrontation quickly moved to fisty cuffs then one of then picked up a fence post and we thought it was going to get nasty. But common sense prevailed and the farmer got back into his JCB and went off. Normally we would have missed all this excitement but last night we ate earlier than usual.

Thursday 17 April 2008

Any ol' iron

There was a tapping on the door this morning which, I just managed to hear above the scrappings of the decorator. I wasn't expecting anybody and as I was going to have to climb over the decorator to answer the door, I looked out of the window and saw a scruffily dressed lad standing on the door step and a truck reversed into our drive. I hadn't a clue who he was or what he might want. It turned out that he and his mate were collecting scrap metal and could he have the two old radiators standing on our drive. Realising that he was a 21st century rag and bone man I said that he could have them if he wanted them. In some ways it is amazing that anybody should think that there would be any such pickings when there are only three house up our little unmade road. I watched to see how he managed to get the radiators into the truck as one was heavy. He managed but we now have a black trail of mucky radiator water dregs around our drive. They were a far cry from Steptoe and Son. Both were over weight and dressed in clothes which were scruffy but too good for the job that they were doing. Had I been a child, they certainly would never have frightened me as the rag and bone man used to do. My brother and I used to hide in the garage if he came round, afraid that he might take us away.

Tuesday 15 April 2008

Garden where

I should have written this last night but I was simply far too tired after a day spent in the garden. All that fresh air and exercise really wore me out.

Yesterday was my first opportunity to spend a day in the garden and the weather obliged with a good day for gardening. With my project management hat on I am hoping that we are able to get on top of the garden this year. At the moment, I am not sure that garden is the right word for it. After all the rain that we have had some of it looks more like the Norfolk Broads than a Cheshire garden. After a solid day of rain a couple of weekends ago, I suggested to my husband that he made a boat but he hasn't taken me up on it. As I walked down the garden yesterday afternoon I surprised a duck that was enjoying itself in our flooded flower bed, prompting it to take off like Concord in hurry, just managing to lift itself over the roof of our garage. 2008 is Cheshire Year of the Garden and we have work to do. My husband has ideas of getting our garden into the National Garden Scheme which would be very nice if we could, but I do not think that we would manage to fulfil their entry criteria. Anyway even in my husband's dreams we are several years away from thinking about that and applying ourselves to the garden is more important than dreaming at the moment. For a bit of variety I tried working in the sun and was far too hot - I had too many clothes on. So I moved into the shade and was too cold when the breeze got up. Problems and decisions. What is a girl to wear in the garden? Never mind which plant am I going to put where.

Wednesday 9 April 2008

Twilight class

Last night I returned to school for what will probably be the last term. The numbers have now dropped so low, at my flower arranging evening class, that it may not run next year. A class of 18 has now dewindled to eight, which is below the threshold for running a class. Some have stopped coming in order to do other things, while others have simply stopped coming because as over sixties they used to be entitled to evening classes at reduced rates, which are no longer available. This does not affect me yet, but the fees have gone up considerably since the class started in 2003 and if this trend continues, there may not be the option of evening classes when I get to retirement.

Wednesday 2 April 2008

Who is the April fool now?

I had booked the plumber to come today, to change the hall radiators before the already much delayed (on his part) decorator comes.

Yesterday morning as I was about to go out to work the plumber turned up. I informed him that I was going to work and that he had come on the wrong day. He went off muttering something about an April fool. Today when he should have come he didn't, which is really annoying because today was my only day off, this week, and a lie in would have been appreciated. I have made numerous phone calls and sent text messages in an attempt to track him down - all to no avail. It is now too late to redeem the situation and he is no longer the retained plumber for this cottage.You may think that I am being harsh and should give him another chance but this is the second time that he has let us down. So there will not be a third letting down. Someone else will do the work.

I am not sure who he thought was the April fool yesterday, but I know who the April fool is today.