I am getting heartily fed up with windy days and heavy downpours which the weather witches keep pushing in our direction. Plants which were started in the greenhouse should be outside by now but are still sheltering behind glass. Watering has become very tricky; I have to be very careful where I step as it is so very crowded in there.
On a few dry days, I did manage to help Jamie ‘Deck’ the balcony outside our bedroom. He measured up and went with me to fetch the wood. I thought that he had ordered far too much, but when it was down and fitted, it was exactly right. Three years of training at last has started to pay dividends! With the off-cut ends, I made a table, two planters and a plant potholder. I am looking forward to sitting on the balcony, drinking my morning coffee when the storms abate (if ever).
On Sunday in the wind and rain and mostly uphill, I went for a 26-mile bike ride with a friend. It took four and a half hours, and on one occasion we had to take shelter from the rain in a public house. It had been such hard work that on my return, I was so tired, after lunch, I fell asleep.
Philippa bought me a mushroom-growing kit for Christmas. I have tried growing mushrooms several times over the years but never managed to grow even a single stool. I planted this batch soon after Christmas and yesterday morning I breakfasted on my very own mushrooms! And there looks plenty more to come. Obviously, West Country mushroom kits are more potent than the ones further north.
Jamie is currently driving a ‘Matiz’. It is a hire car loaned to him by the insurance company of the taxi driver that ran into the back of his car. Jamie’s car is booked next week for repairs. I once drove a ‘Matiz’ hire car in Kefalonia and remember that it didn’t do corners very well, which was pretty dangerous on that island! Jamie is also not impressed with it, but he still likes showing off a 08 plated car to his friends.
Sue went to the theatre to see the author Gervase Phinn. He was an ex-OFSTED Inspector and as such is closely related to many of the despots in history! I have read his books and have to confess to enjoying them. It seems he did most of his inspections in the wilds of Yorkshire and they don’t stand any bureaucratic nonsense associated with the inspection process there. He now makes his living talking about his experiences. Sue was wise enough not to have invited me along, as he might have had another amusing experience to recount involving an aged Yorkshireman living in Leicestershire.
One Friday evening, Sue took Sarah to see ‘A boy in striped pyjamas‘, it was showing in Harborough and though originally, I was going, Sarah expressed a wish to see it, and her dad is an easy pushover. I spent the evening repairing a computer for a friend.
Jamie has made all the components that are part of Nan’s, new walk-in wardrobe and they are scattered all over my study. He is keen to go to Nan’s and install it, but as I have to take him and the ‘bits’ in my car, it won’t be until the weekend and then Nan is supposed to be going to a wedding in Wales.
My stepbrother David emailed with bad news this week. He lives with his wife Genya, in Bulgaria and last week, when they were out for the day, the house was burgled. Mostly electrical items were taken. But what was heart-breaking was that their laptops were also stolen, and they contained the stories that Genya had been working on for the last three years and was hoping to publish. They also contained their wedding and holiday photos. There was no backup, so they have gone. It is very upsetting, but they are being pragmatic, and it appears they are making the best of things, getting on with jobs around the house and land etc.
Sarah is now in the middle of her exams and seems totally focused and surprisingly calm. We wish her every luck; she has worked hard and deserves success.