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Saturday, April 10, 2021

Today is nice and frosty, low cloud so we cannot either see the end of the garden at the back or trees across the field at the front. What a good day to pop over the water meadows to Watermead with the dogs. We have a new lot of cattle just arrived since Thursday who were very curious about these strange little creatures that make a lot of noise so we had a bit of a stand off before we all went over the bridge into the next field where they got as far away as possible to the other side while we continued towards Watermead.

As they had cut the grass, we went over upriver to the canal, over the weir bridge and back alongside kings Lears Lake, back over the River Soar, across the meadows and home. All I need now is for the grass to dry before it snows so I can actually mow the lawns sometime.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

You may or not be pleased to hear that fan up on ceiling, blades fitted along with light and big switch on did not result in a big bang. No idea why but there you go. Light works more like a dim night light which was to be expected and blades go round and round. A little balancing may be needed but this afternoon we wandered over to the water meadows to see if all is well. It just proved that the 4 year hunt for our little bungalow was worth the many miles and endless viewing of estate agents wonderful properties with large gardens and space for caravan that we could actually afford. I admit I gave up twice even though we had a buyer for our even smaller bungalow but by chance (honest) I spotted something that ‘could’ be almost what I was looking for. Just a shame the owner hadn’t gone into care sooner.

You may have guessed that it was the one and every day is different with one challenge after another but we would not change it!

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

I know you have been waiting with baited breath for the next instalment, so here goes.

Removed blades and fixed base to ceiling. Found platform in garage to allow two to stand together so as provide 3rd and 4th hands. Naturally said platform had not been used for some 30 years so needed assembly and oiling of assorted bits. Trying to remember how it all went together was yet another minor difficulty. That’s the morning gone so just to offer unit up, connect wires and reassemble should be a piece of cake for the afternoon. ‘Should be’ being the operative phrase. I had to get my best Chinese to English translation converter into readable/understandable English assistant to point out that I was doing it all wrong due to the diagrams not actually agreeing with real life as the designer imagined. Shall I just say that if translation and drawings actually matched real life, only one pair of hands would have done with a little swearing but as it was the extra pair of hands meant no swearing was required. Tomorrow fix blades and light unit, connect cable to mains and stand back.

SWMBO reminded me that all the above should have been done yesterday, but on Saturday we got our 2nd jab letter and needed to contact the surgery to make the appointment. For some reason it was a bank holiday and the doctors surgery is not open on bank holidays so you have upwards of a few hundred patients trying to get through to make said appointment (do not ring until after 10am!!). So the day was spent trying to call the surgery and either finding it engaged or simply getting cut off. We are going on Sunday.   

Sunday, April 4, 2021

The weather turned once again and this morning a lovely white lawn greeted everyone as they all rushed out to relieve themselves before dashing back to get warm.

The warmer weather earlier in the week prompted me to install the ceiling fan I bought early this year (last year I wilted in the heat as our lounge faces south and has a rather large window) to replace the somewhat elderly desk fan that we have and needs a little TLC to get going. We had one in the bedroom at our last abode and I installed one here also in the bedroom (facing south again) neither of which were difficult to install.

However, once again it ‘simply’ needed putting together and connecting to a wire I installed in the ceiling. These Chinese are getting more and more cunning. The first one I fitted years ago had a just needed a hook in the ceiling and the assembled fan just hooked on while connection made and a cover slid up the tube to cover connections. The one I installed here was similar but the cover had small keyhole slots on either side of mounting bracket which required the ceiling to be flat. Remember this as the house that Patrick built so I expect I was asking too much to have a flat ceiling but as usual it was easy(ish) to get over.

This one is proving a real challenge! Each section has to be assembled, wires connected so you end up with a plate to be fixed to the ceiling and mains wiring connected. Simply connect four wires from fan unit to four wires floating from mounting bracket. Naturally, no way of supporting rather heavy fan unit  8 feet in the air (complete with five blades sticking out) whilst my other two hands are somehow trying to connect 8 floating wires together before trying to fit the supporting cover over the connections to the keyhole slots at the base if the mounting bracket. So far the best idea I’ve come up with is another pair of hands mounted on anther pair of steps 8ft in the air in the same place so that one pair of hands can try to support heavy weight while the other pair of hands wrestle with 4 wires from the mounting bracket attach to 4 wires coming out of the tube at the top of the fitting and then take the weight of the fitting whilst trying to attach cover plate to the base plate keyhole slots.

I keep having this vision of the designer doing this simple task on a bench with the fitting on the bench and then just connect wires and pull cover up to base plate (now at the top!) And lowering over the keyhole slots and lifting the lot up in the air proudly showing all his mates how easy it was!!

All being well, the saga may continue during the week, or not.

Just to keep you happy in these difficult times here is a copy of a Private Eye cartoon a few months ago   

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

I’ve come to the conclusion that everyone in this household has got it in for me being surrounded by 2 girls and 3 boys. Every time I start panning to do something I’ve been putting off, they conspire between them to do their level best to waylay me.

The weather turned better so ones thoughts turn to doing things outside. Number 1 girl suggests filling up the holes where the badgers, moles and the very old fruit trees were removed on the bottom lawn so soil was collected , holes marked and away I go mending an area or two. For some reason, Number 1 girl starts the other side to set out some agility equipment and finds the holes I hadn’t got to. More soil is collected and moved to the offending holes, filled and rolled ready to scatter some seed.

Thinks! Better run the mower over the bottom lawn so seed has a chance to germinate (one of my better ideas). While thinking about that, I may as well remove the paving slabs I put down when the badgers thought it would be a good idea to dig under the gate to gain access to the top lawn. Number 3 boy decided to attack the strimmer as I tried to clear the grass to shift the slabs and his nose got in the way. Number 1 girl told me it was all my fault (why??). Finally gaining access to the slabs I started to shift them back from their home and found ants had set up home under one one, so another job gets put on the list.

You know, that’s the story of my life all the time since we moved to take advantage of being retired. I used to be fairly well organised, but events keep overtaking me, mind you, after spending 40 years in one property, all the problems had been resolved and it was just the others, but the others followed us here I suspect (it must be my charisma - or not!!).

There will be more, never fear! (I suppose you should, really).