Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Vans, Railways, Gardens and more

The Builder has bought a replacement van on eBay. Not, I am pleased to say, for £180000, nor for £18000 but for the much more reasonable price of £2000. We went to Leeds on Saturday to collect it, Jenny the Sat Nav getting us there (and back) in a nice and calm manner. (I don’t like navigating around Leeds. Once found myself trapped in the city centre at night with no obvious way of getting out again!)

It’s a very cute van. It’s a red, former postal van and it has six, that’s SIX seats in it, three of which come out if you want to carry huge big things in it. It seems to have been quite well kept and Nick the Mechanic appeared to approve when we called in at his garage to show it to him. The Builder reports that he had trouble starting it this morning, but otherwise it seems to go OK. He’s taking it in to Nick next week for a look see.

The Builder has also bought many sticks of wood, also on eBay, from someone he has previously bought sticks of wood from who lives around the corner in Tupton. He has plans to build a new shed, replacing the potting shed and the tool shed. He also has plans to put a porch over the back door so we have somewhere to keep the boots, and also so that we aren’t walking straight into the kitchen from the backyard. It is very hard to keep the kitchen floor clean at the moment, it must be said. I think he now has almost enough upright sticks of wood for both these projects. Possibly also for the roof trusses. Now he needs bits of wood to fill in the walls.

Freyja has also been out, looking for useful things to buy, such as chairs and tables and couches and stuff. To this end she took herself off to the charity shops to see what was about. And came home, not with things to sit on or to eat from or to put things on. Though I suppose you could put things on it. But no, she came home with none of these things. She came home with -- -- a piano!!! At least, she came home having paid for a piano. She didn’t actually carry it herself. An Oxfam delivery person came with it several days later. He charged £5 per step to get it up to the front door.

We had quite a pleasant weekend. Quiet. Restful. I was not working. Neither was The Builder. After we got back from Leeds we went to Chatsworth and saw Roger loitering in the meat queue in the farm shop. At least, I think it was the meat queue. It was very crowded and I didn’t go to investigate. He might have been in the bread queue, I suppose. We ambled into Bakewell for lunch and pottered about the shops. We pootled about in the garden and went to inspect the work on the train line. They’ve been working on the line between Derby and Sheffield at weekends for weeks now. The station at Chesterfield is closed to train traffic on Saturdays and Sundays (not entirely conveniently!). Now they have reached the Tupton stretch of the line and had been working in shifts since late evening on Friday, under arc lights during the night. It looks magnificent, all lit up. But it was very odd to see the line with no track at all on it! And I didn’t have my camera :-( Then we had dinner, watched telly, pottered about and went to bed, with no fear that we would have to be up indecently early on Sunday morning.

Enjoyed Sunday as well. Did not get up indecently early. Did a little light housework before a mid-morning breakfast. Then spent most of the rest of it in the garden, weeding the flower beds and tidying up and generally enjoying it. We did make a trip to the garden centre to buy some hellebores. We also bought some seeds and some bird food and some pansies. Going to the garden centre is always a dangerous activity! We went to collect the wood sticks. The Builder stashed them in the “chook” shed and started digging a bed along the side fence for the little lavenders and for the tayberry. We went and inspected the railway work some more (I had my camera this time). Then it was dinner time (beef wellington) and a pleasant, relaxed evening. Did go to bed way too late, though. Happily, I’m on the evening duty today so could have a nice, leisurely morning. Unlike The Builder who was also late to bed and who had to go into work bright and early :-p

I spoke to Austin yesterday lunch time and he broke the unwelcome news that he and Julia split up shortly after Julia went to Greensboro (That’s Greensboro, North Carolina, not Greensborough shopping complex). I think it was about that time. It was a few weeks ago, anyway. It’s very sad. At least, I’m very sad. They’ve been together a long time. However, no one yet has managed to break away from the Hyde Collective once they’ve been assimilated and I can’t imagine it’s any more likely to let Julia go than anyone else. (Austin, of course, has no chance – he was assimilated before birth!!) So that’s alright then. I shall expect to find her at my table tucking into Yorkshire puddings along with the rest of us. Always assuming that the Yorkshire puds rise better than they did the last time I attempted them. They hardly even deserved the term Yorkshire pancakes, they were so flat! Unlike the bread I made at the weekend which rose and rose and rose to the point I was beginning to worry about the roof of the oven! And still it was quite stodgy. But I digress; I’m supposed to be breaking bad news here, not discussing my risings and fallings!
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