Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Long weekend (for f) report

We had a lovely time on Saturday. It's true the weather wasn't all that good, certainly not allotmenting weather. But it didn't rain all that much - and we had gloomy weather plans as a back up. Or even, really, as a first up.

Last weekend, while we were dallying in the sunshine in Salisbury, Freyja and her mate Yvonne had gone at some unearthly hour on the Sunday morning to a craft fair in Bingley, where Yvonne had a stall to sell her jewellery and bags and things. I don't believe it was all that well attended but Freyja and Yvonne seem to have had a good time. This weekend they had a stall at the Spring Fling in Sheffield. The Builder and I went to inspect it - and found that Yvonne had already taken more on Saturday morning than she had for the entire day last Sunday. We had a good potter around, and carefully inspected all the other stalls. Then we waved goodbye and went off in search of lunch. At the Fusion cafe, down the road from the SHU main building.

Then we headed for the Millennium gallery for a couple of hours of kulcha. They've had a bug exhibition running since around Christmas in the little gallery, and an exhibition of things from the V&A in the main gallery, lots of which are pertinent to Sheffield (so the old Castle, the Manor house (both now long gone) and the Bishop's House in Heeley (still extant) ). Was an excellent way of spending a couple of hours on a gloomy, spring Saturday afternoon. Then we went home again, via Waitrose.

Sunday was a glorious day. Truly glorious. I had to keep repeating the mantra: It's only March. Don't trust the weather. Plant nothing that is tender outside until MAY! The Builder did some digging in the kitchen garden. We both went to the allotment and he did more digging and I did pea and broad bean sowing and some planning. We sat outside when we got home and drank long soft drinks (I must say we did miss out vodka/gin and tonics on Sunday afternoon!) and enjoyed the sunshine.

And then it was Monday again. The sun had gone. The clouds had crept back in. The Builder went to work. And I settled in to wait for the Gas Man (annual boiler inspection), the Electricity Man (replacement meter) and the Delivery Man (new bathroom scales).

The Gas Man came first - puzzling the cat who was not expecting stray men to amble in and disturb the peace! He inspected and serviced the boiler, patted the cat - and went away. The Electricity Man came next, slightly alarming the cat by producing a set of yellow steps so he could reach the electricity meter. The cat has not been entirely fond of men with ladders ever since (we strongly suspect!) the previous window cleaner had thrown a ladder (and possibly, though we are not so sure about this bit, a bucket of water) at him very shortly before the window cleaner became the ex-window cleaner. Since then Marlo has positively growled and bared his teeth at men bearing ladders. It appears that men bearing yellow steps might almost be ok. The Delivery Man arrived while the Electricity Man was putting his stuff back in his van - thus making it difficult for me to reach the door to allow the Delivery Man ingress - there was a ladder and a big bag in the way of the door. Then everyone went away and left the cat and me in peaceful possession of the house for the rest of the day :-)

I had thought about doing some more work in the garden, but it was cloudy and dark and windy and cold - and Steve Next Door had lit a fire in their chimenea which was billowing acrid smoke over our garden. I stayed inside and sorted out plans, both social and horticultural, for the summer and did a few Useful Things before The Builder came home again.

I am not entirely delighted, however.

The new electricity meter is very tiny and is way, way up and even stood on the couch, on my tippiest, topiest tiptoes I have no chance at all of ever reading it. I did ask if it could be put much, much lower, but the man said it couldn't ;-( Quite what I will do if The Builder runs away, dies or become incapacitated I have no idea (and quite how Mrs Hallam ever read even the previous meter is a mystery to me - she was littler than me, and much, much poorlier (cos I am not poorly at all and she was very poorly indeed) - and I struggled to read it)

I can't even reach the card the man left with the previous readings on it, even if I stretch as much as I possibly can. It's tucked right at the very highest top of the meter cupboard!

It is true that I have to lie almost prone on the floor to read the gas meter - but at least I can do that Getting up again might be more problematic though.

Why can't they put meters where people can see them? Why aren't they outside where meter readers can see them?

Even The Builder can't reach to read the electricity meter when stood on the couch. He will need to use the steps. I will need to use the ladder. I wonder what Marlo thinks of women bearing ladders?
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