Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Random Musings

Well. Where to begin? Lots of random things to tell you.

We missed the bulk of the storms last week. There were gales and torrential downpours all over the place at the beginning of the week but Chesterfield and Sheffield were largely untouched. We just had wind and rain.

It was a fairly quiet week, really. The Builder is still working in Handsworth. I come in with him in the morning and have a nice, quiet hour in the office on my own before anyone else appears. I’m weeding my way through the Construction books and spending lots of money on new things – which is always nice, spending thousands of somebody else’s pounds! The good news is that The Builder has been invited to stay on with the firm he’s working with at the moment and to be employed directly by them when he gets back from Japan and Australia, rather than going through the agency. It’s a three year-ish project they’re working on, refurbishing council-owned housing for older folks. And that will, more or less, take him up to when he actually wanted to retire. So that’s good. The pay is a bit less than it is through the agency, but it does mean he’ll have a regular income rather than a higher but occasional one. Plus he gets paid for his holidays! Though they are quite fixed. Two weeks at Christmas, one at Easter and two weeks between June and August. I shall just have to come into line with that.

We had a good weekend. We pottered about on Saturday, drove through the mist to Chatsworth. Nearly ran over two cyclists but narrowly avoided them (the mist had turned to quite thick fog up on the moor tops and, although they were wearing viz jackets, they didn’t have lights on their bikes and were visible only as looming dark objects as we got closer to them. My boss Peter tells me that he had a similar problem, having set out from home in fair weather only find himself on a bike, viz jacket on but with no lights out on the moors in thick fog. Moral of the tale is always to carry your lights with you!) We called at the garden centre for shallot sets and leek seeds. If the Garden Gods are kind we should be over run with various forms of onion next year! We went to the farm shop for the week’s provisions. Which reminds me – I must find out when they’re open over the Easter Weekend. We trundled home and pootled about. I made a salmon quiche. Then we trundled into Sheffield and spent a very pleasant evening eating, drinking and making merry at Bea and Steve’s house. And went to bed late. Later than I ever go these days. Around midnight! And I had to be up, about and ready for work on Sunday morning :-S

Happily, Bea and Steve live a mere 10 minute drive from the Adsetts Centre. We even had time to drop by Gavin and Rebecca’s place en route. They have an ice cream maker and I had arranged to borrow it to see if my life might be improved by the addition of one. I haven’t tried it yet. The bowl is in the freezer ready for experimentation on Easter Sunday. I’m planning on vanilla ice cream to go with chocolate puddings. I hope it works!

I had yesterday off. The boiler man was coming. Back before Christmas we took out with British Gas a service plan which covers the boiler, the central heating and the fixed electricals. It crossed our minds a week or so ago that they had never come to do the original inspection to see whether our boiler qualified for the service agreement. So I arranged for them to come. The irritating thing about this is that they will make morning or afternoon appointments only. You can’t get them to be more specific. And the morning slot is 8 – 1 and the afternoon one is 12 – 6. You will immediately see that there is no possibility at all of taking a mere half day off, unless you happen to live within a five minute walk from where you work. And I don’t!

It did mean that I had a lovely and quiet day off, though. I pottered about in the morning doing useful, domestic things – and somehow managed to slice my finger in the process; I have no idea how. I didn’t notice until I went to check something on the laptop and wondered what all the red stuff was! It’s quite a deep slice too. It’s seriously impeding my typing! Then I spent the afternoon playing on the internet, reading the magazines which had come during the week, reading the River Cottage Fish Book and generally doing nothing very much. The boiler man came at about 4:15. While he was checking the boiler and the radiators, I made some pasta dough. The boiler man was very taken with the cat, who was draped over my shoulders while I was signing the paperwork. Actually, I was quite impressed with the boiler man – he reversed his little van into our VERY NARROW driveway with absolute panache. The only other person who dares park in it is The Builder, and he’s had several months of practice (the white van wouldn’t fit; it’s only since Uncle John arrived that he’s been parking in the drive). So. The boiler is now properly signed up for this service agreement. Excellent.

I made a vegetarian lasagne for dinner. It was rather nice. I put the pasta dough through my pasta squishing machine many, many times until it was practically diaphanous. It would never have won me Masterchef, because it was so thin it had begun to develop holes. I don’t care. It had even more holes in it after I had chomped it! And it a lovely, light lasagne which didn’t make us feel blompy after we had eaten it. It was a nice day to be at home. It wasn’t quite warm enough in the morning to go up to the allotment and plant all the onion thingies. But it was sunny enough to make it nice and warm and light and bright sat in the lounge room. It was a bit of a shame this morning, when it dawned bright and sunny, having to get up and leave my lovely bright, light lounge room. Still, it’s a very short week this week. Work Monday, have Tuesday off, work Wednesday and Thursday, have Friday off. Short next week too. Wednesday to Friday. And the following week Monday to Wednesday and them I’m off for just over three weeks!

Freyja, for reasons that are entirely unclear to me, was moved to wonder recently how you go about getting an allotment. I’m not sure why she didn’t just ask me, but she didn’t. She emailed the Sheffield allotment people and asked them. And got a reply telling her that her local allotments were off Cat Street in Meersbrook, that there is approximately a 12 month wait and that she is now on the waiting list and they would contact her when it was her turn. I hope she wants an allotment! She’s meeting me for lunch today. I shall interrogate her and find out why she was wondering in the first place
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