Wednesday, August 15, 2007

We did come back from Scotland. We headed down from Edinburgh to Kelso where we met Tim at Floors Castle for lunch. He concerned us a little when he refused a glass of wine with his lunch. Happily, he explained that He is absolutely unable to take alcohol during the day, but becomes a proper Hyde in the evenings. Phew. Much relief!

Then we went back to his tiny cottage out in the sticks. Tim was driving his TVR. Lindsey went with him. He put his foot down and disappeared in a pufffffff down the road. Ian and I *hoped* that we would eventually run across him again, because we didn’t have his address to put into Katie. Then we went round a corner and found a HUGE big bright yellow combined harvester pottering along the laneway, holding up Tim’s TVR and another car in front of him. I think Lindsey thought her head was going to fall off when Tim first took off!

Tim has a pig. Molly. A Vietnamese Pot Belly. And boy is her belly potted! She’s very wobbly! And she comes when she’s called. Tim hopped out the car, called her and she came staggering out of her hut, clearly having been sound asleep. She eats, amongst other things, potatoes. Huge big ones. I like Molly. I got to scratch he behind her ears. There are also large-ish calves in a barn round the corner. I liked them too

In addition to his TVR, Tim also has a racing Austin 7 and a Mini Cooper. Oh, and a cute red tractor with digging bits at both ends. He’s also in the process of doing up a mostly derelict house just along from his cottage. The estate he lives on and where he does a good bit of handyperson activity, have told him he can have it for life if he does it up. I think even I might learn to be handy if that sort of offer was on the table!

We came home through the Cheviots, hit traffic at Newcastle, lost it again just beyond Gateshead and were home in The Sidings in time to join The Builder for fish and chips for dinner. I think he was quite pleased to see us, though he was oblivious to our arrival when we got there, being engaged in watering the garden. Marlo noticed us though!

On Saturday the poor Builder had to go to work AGAIN. Lindsey, Ian and I went into Sheffield and collected Freyja and Mark to go out to lunch instead. We did get mildly lost in the back roads around their place but found them eventually. We went to Castleton in celebration of Freyja’s forthcoming birthday. Lindsey and Ian won’t be able to celebrate on the actual day, being, as they will be, on a ferry to Norway at the time. The pub we went to in Castleton usually does really good food. This wasn’t one of its better days, though it was OK. And they do serve Aspell’s cider, which is always a plus. Then we went for a wander in the sunshine around the time. Then Everyone except me went on a tour of the Peak Cavern and the Devil’s Arse. I did not. I went for a potter in the Visitor Centre and a mooch in the shops and a trundle about. And so home, via Sheffield to throw Freyja and Mark out the car. We lit the barbecue and had ate and drank very well. It was a lovely, sunny evening. And the Scottish steak was magnificent.

Sunday saw us heading back into Sheffield, collecting Freyja (but not Mark this time) again and off we went to Paul and Carol’s for the afternoon. We mostly ate. And drank. And ate some more. And drank some more. Masses and masses of food. Masses and masses of wine. And a sit outside in their garden. They are growing vegetables on the roof of their shed. In boxes, not directly on the roof. The carrot are magnificent. And very, very tasty.

Since then, we’ve been fairly quiet. The Builder is back at work. Ian has gone to London for a meeting, to Ely to meet a friend and on to Manchester to catch up with his niece and nephew. Lindsey and I pottered about in Chatsworth and in the Peak District garden centres and craft shops. She, The Builder and I made a dash to Currys in Sheffield yesterday evening (the one in Chesterfield is still closed after the floods) and bought an electric kettle (our gas bill has been enormous since we moved here. We decided to replace the stove top kettle with an electric one when we realise just how quick electric ones are!), a small chest freezer (the main freezer is already full and there’s loads of stuff yet to come) and Lindsey and The Builder bought me a Katie of my very own. Well, I suppose I’ll have to share her with The Builder, but it’s mostly me who does the navigating. I don’t think we’ll need her much on the open roads, but she’s oh-so-useful for navigating around cities. On Sunday, when we were once again mislaid trying to find a way around the backstreets around Freyja’s place (for the main road has roadworks and long, long queues of traffic) and had once again got misplaced, she had us sorted out in no time. Took us a while to get Katie II to work, but eventually we succeeded. But we need a name for her. The voice we are using at the moment is called Jane. Nice voice – but I can’t call my SAtNav Jane. Jane is a gloomy, Eeyorish person. It was suggested that we call her Eeyore – but that seemed to be tempting fate rather, calling a GPS Eeyore!

Lindsey is in Manchester today too, joining Ian in his meeting up with Fiona and David. I have been preparing potatoes fro freezing. It’s very quiet here on my own with just the cat for company. Although, he’s lying with his head on the keyboard so typing is a bit awkward. Still, he’s not making any noise!!

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