Wednesday, March 05, 2008

A very windy Sunday and other tales

At three o'clock on Sunday morning, The Builder started shouting and more or less threw the cat at me. “Bloody cat, %@~*&+$, Mmph, mutter, yell, cat, %&$*£@” I was about to say that this most certainly woke both me and the cat up, only I think the cat was already awake. It seems that Marlo, out of nowhere, had suddenly stuck all his claws in The Builder’s back.

Marlo was all aquiver. I calmed him down and turned over, snuggling the cat down beside me. The Builder yelled AGAIN! He says that I dug my elbow into a soft part of his back. Must have been very soft. I wasn’t aware I’d even touched him

Thereafter it was quite a disturbed night. I kept being woken up by something. Not the cat, though he seemed a bit distrait too.

At five o’clock, we gave up and The Builder went down to get us a cup of tea. He came back to report that there was an almighty wind blowing outside. We couldn’t really hear it in the bedroom; the double glazing is an effective sound proofing material. It’s not as effective in the bathroom or kitchen. In fact, not effective at all in the bathroom! Now he came to mention it, I could hear some quite exciting gusts outside even in the bedroom.

At about half past six The Builder went down to get us another cup of tea. It’s light by then now. He came back up to report that the fence panel by the side of the house had blown down and that my propagating tent had disappeared. I opened the bedroom curtains – and found the propagating tent in the fish pond, near enough. And the weighted down bird table had blown over and down the garden. I went down to inspect the fence (through the kitchen window – I wasn’t actually intending to go out in that!). It wasn’t so much that the fence panel had blown down as that the concrete pole holding it up had been blown part over and cracked at the bottom!

No wonder the cat had stuck all his claws into The Builder in the night. He doesn’t much care for strong wind at the best of time. Strong wind which is blowing tents and fence posts about would be enough to worry anybody.

I sat on the side of the bed with my cup of tea and watched the trees being battered and the birds being blown about and the seagulls having a wonderful time playing in the gusts. While I was watching, the garden bench was picked up and blown over, on top of the little table next to it. All very exciting!

Mercifully, it had blown itself out by 10:00, when we were due to head off in Uncle John to collect Freyja from her place. We were off to Intake on the other side of Sheffield to collect a futon from someone who works where she does who didn’t want it any more. I would not have cared at all for driving about in Uncle John in that wind. Or the vixen, come to that. It had died down enough for us to have ventured out and picked everything up, and to have propped up the fence. Must do something about that post, mind you.

We collected Freyja and headed to Intake via the Adsetts Centre, where I had left my wallet in my intray on Friday when I left. I could probably have managed without it, except that I had Monday off and wasn’t intending to go in for my Tuesday evening shift until later in the afternoon. I quite fancied having access to some cash in the meantime. Freyja pointed out that The Builder was sat right with us, but I don’t think we should view him as a cashpoint!

Jenny the sat nav is a wonderful thing. She took us to the house in a quiet backstreet in Intake with no fuss at all. She did her level best to get us directly back to Freyja and Mark’s place as well. It wasn’t her fault that they’ve redesigned some of the roads and haven’t told her! Fortunately, Freyja and I knew how to get back to Meersbrook by the time that happened. The futon is rather nice. It’s green. And very comfy. We all carted it up the stairs and The Builder assembled it, then we left Freyja and Mark to prepare for some visitors who were heading their way and took ourselves off to B&Q in search of a new concrete post and some concrete. Then, of course, The Builder had to dig out the old post. And the HUGE concrete lump it was sitting in. Eventually he remembered that he has a rather nice piece of rope in the van. By using that and a pole he managed to lever it out. It was VERY big! A bit of a break for lunch, then he planted the new post and had the fencing board back in in no time. Then we had a bit of a potter around in the garden, clearing up, cleaning all the rubbish out the fish pond, lots of which had blown in over night, generally beginning to think about spring.

A pause, while The Builder had a much earned pint of beer and I had a not particularly earned pint of cider.

Then we thought of the allotment. I wonder if we still have any greenhouses. We ambled off to find out. Miraculously, both the greenhouses had withstood the tempest. One of them lost a couple of panes of glass a couple of weeks back. The only damage was inside that one, where a third pane had been propped up. It had blown over and smashed into many little pieces. But otherwise, they were unscathed. Very odd. The allotments are wind blasted places and one of the other greenhouses had lost its roof. Everything else seemed fine. We went back home and had roasted tuna fillets for dinner.

It was, you will agree, a very exciting Sunday!

I have been poorly sick :-( I got up on Friday morning and felt a bit as though someone had thunked me quite hard across the top of my abdomen. But I had been weeding some heavy books on Thursday and assumed I had pulled a muscle or that something was cross. I came to work. The day progressed. By mid morning it felt as though a giant was BITING me across my middle. By lunchtime it felt as though the giant was biting me right around my front, middle and back :-( ?By going home time on Friday I could hardly get up the stairs to Arundel Gate and d r a g g e d myself slowly, slowly, slowly up. I gently, gently hauled myself into Uncle John. By the time we got home I had a temperature of 101! (oh, alright; 38 and a tiny bit – but 101 sounds much more exciting). I had a little titchy bit of fish and a few chips from the chippy, took my glass of wine and my book and retired to bed. I only had a couple of mouthfuls of my wine before I was asleep. You will agree that it has come to something when I can’t drink my wine!

I woke up on Saturday without the temperature and with a much more moderate ache. So when The Builder went to visit Richard to fix the leak in his garage roof, I stayed at home, being careful with what I did – a little gentle tidying up. Very gentle. Very careful. The Builder came home and we trundled out to Chatsworth for some provisions. The Builder pushed the trolley! Then we went to Bakewell and had lunch in The Peacock. I couldn’t manage all my lunch – but I did manage my wine. By Sunday, when we called into the Adsetts Centre for my wallet, I bounced down the stairs and bounced up the stairs and there was only the occasional twinge. I have no idea what it was. It’s gone now!

Richard has also been poorly sick. He’s been off work for six weeks and isn’t expecting to be back before Easter. Poor Richard. When The Builder went to see him on Saturday, he took with him a card which had been signed by all the people he used to work quite closely with when we were still our own, separate department. When The Builder came back, he brought with him some St David’s Day (for such it was on Saturday) daffodils for me from Richard. An excellent exchange, one card for a huge bunch of daffodils. Daffies are so very cheerful.

We got up yesterday morning. It was once again windy, but nothing like as windy as it had been on Sunday. The fence was still up! And instead of howling tempest - - - we had SNOW! It didn’t really settle, but it looked very pretty while it was there. And, although the sun is now quite warm (I didn’t have the heating on until late in the afternoon, because the sun was warming the house by God’s power), the wind was very, very, very cold. Even when the weather cleared into a truly lovely day, it was still too cold for weeding and planting.

I have thought of another symptom of me not being well. I have been cleaning! And tidying. And organising. Over the past couple of days I have taken the contents of the big freezer (it not being very full) and put them with the contents of the little freezer (it being even less full) and defrosted and cleaned the big freezer. Then I transferred everything across and have defrosted, cleaned and decommissioned the little freezer until such time as we have a garden surplus again. I have tidied the dining room and lounge room. I have cleaned and waxed the dining room table. I have (wait for it – are you braced?) CLEANED THE TWO OVENS!!!!!!! And perforce the rest of the kitchen. I have even cleaned the bathroom and vacuumed the house – carefully so as not to break anything this time!! The house is positively gleaming. I have done all the washing and all the ironing – I even got washing dried on the line yesterday. The wind might have been cold but it was blowy enough to dry things with the help of the sun. And my back and front are fine and I feel fine. It was a very odd little virus (at least, I assume it was a virus)

I enjoyed my 3.5 days off. Next chance for a few days off will be Easter. And that isn’t far away at all :-)
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